Mobile Drives More Search Ad Clicks

Mobile devices are accounting for more search clicks. That’s according to ad management firm Marin Software, which reports 10 percent of search ad clicks in Q4 2011 were derived from mobile and tablet devices.

According to its U.S. Online Advertising Report, mobile search ad clickthroughs were 5 percent of the total in Q3 2011.

In Q4 2011, 6 percent of search clicks came from smartphones and 4 percent from tablets. Those devices drove higher clickthrough rates than desktops, too. Marin reports CTRs on tablet search ads were 37 percent higher, and on smartphones were 31 percent higher than desktop search ads.

A separate report, this one from digital marketing firm IgnitionOne, also found rapid growth in mobile search activity and ad spend. It found mobile search ad impressions rose 317 percent between Q4 2010 and Q4 2011, while ad spend grew 269 percent. Among retailers, ad spend for mobile search was 14.2 percent of total paid search budgets.


Marin clients boosted spend on Yahoo and Bing in the past year. Impressions across the search partners’ sites rose 43 percent between Q4 2010 and Q4 2011. The company said click volume from Yahoo and Bing ads rose 44 percent while CPC rates grew 9 percent. Clickthrough rose one percent.

In contrast, Google search ads drove a 48 percent increase in both clicks and clickthroughs in Q4 2011, but impressions did not increase. And ad costs were down: CPCs dropped 7 percent for Google search ads.

On all three search platforms combined, CPCs fell 14 percent from the previous year and clickthroughs increased 23 percent. Spending on paid search across Google, Bing, and Yahoo grew 35 percent.

Marin’s report is based on data from more than 1,000 advertiser and agency clients spending a combined $2.7 billion per year through the company’s system.

Related reading

Checkboxes on smartphone screen. Checkboxes and checkmark. Flat vector illustration