Smartphones Continue Taking Bigger Chunk of Google Search Ad Clicks

July 18, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Paid Search

TheSearchAgency-Google-Click-Share-by-Device-Q22012-Q22013-July2013Smartphones grew to account for 17.7% of Google search ad clicks in Q2, about double their share from Q2 2012 (8.8%), according to [download page] a new report from The Search Agency. While desktop share of clicks continues to drop (from 83.5% in Q2 2012 to 71% this past quarter), this latest study shows tablets’ share of clicks dropping on a quarter-over-quarter basis for the first time, albeit by a marginal amount (0.5% points to 11.3%). The news comes on the heels of new Google data cautioning advertisers that mobile ad clicks won’t be replaced by organic clicks should advertisers pause their mobile campaigns.

Meanwhile, data from The Search Agency’s newest study indicates that mobile devices play a much larger role on Google than on Bing, where desktops still account for 83.5% of ad clicks. Even so, desktops are seeing a diminished role, down from 91.9% of search clicks in Q2 2012.

Notably, impression share by device was mostly unchanged on Google in Q2, with desktops accounting for 75.3% share, smartphones 13.7% and tablet 11%. That smartphones represent a growing share of clicks even as impression share remains stable is testament to their higher click-through rate (CTR). And indeed, in Q2, smartphone CTR (3.4%) outpaced tablets (2.7%) and desktops (2.5%), although each was down from Q1. Interestingly, the dynamics were once again different on Bing, with tablets easily sporting the highest CTR (2.8%), followed by desktops (1.3%) and smartphones (1.2%).

The Search Agency also notes in its release that tablet CPCs exceeded desktop CPCs on Google ($0.86 vs. $0.85) for the first time, although Covario has seen this dynamic among its clients for some time, although its data is not limited to Google.

Other Findings:

  • Overall paid search impressions grew by 7.5% year-over-year and 20% quarter-over-quarter. Clicks were up 5.2% year-over-year but down 6.4% from Q1, while spending grew by 15.5% year-over-year and 9.7% quarter-over-quarter.
  • CPC was up by 10% year-over-year and by 17.3% quarter-over-quarter across the search engines, with the increase larger for Google on a quarter-over-quarter basis (21.2%).
  • In a head-to-head battle with Bing, Google accounted for 77.1% of impressions, 86.9% of clicks and 83.8% of spending.

About the Data: The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Report summarizes current paid search marketing trends across search engines, devices, and industries. Findings and forecasts are based on year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) analyses on aggregated client data.

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