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Paid Search Stats: A Few Surprises

paid searchIn what may not be a huge surprise, mobile accounts for an increasingly sizable chunk of Google paid activity, according to a recent report.

In the Search Engine Land post, “Mobile Accounts For One-Third Of Google Paid Clicks In Q3, Yet CPCs Drop From Q2 [Report],” Ginny Marvin shares some findings from the third quarter State of Paid Search Report from the Search Agency.

The report shows strong growth in mobile in the wake of some upgrades and enhanced campaigns by Google over the past few months.

“Mobile clicks accounted for one-third of Google’s click share. In contrast, Bing’s mobile click share remained flat at 17.7 just percent in Q3. A whopping 93 percent of smartphone clicks occurred on Google. Amazingly, smartphones now account for 21.4 percent of clicks on Google product listing ads (PLAs), which debuted on mobile devices in March. That’s up from just 14.6 percent in Q2 among The Search Agency’s client set.”

Click-through Rates Mostly Decreasing

At the same time, Google’s click-through rates have dropped across all devices for the past two quarters. “The steepest CTR decline occurred on desktops: off 31.8 percent year-over-year and 22.8 percent quarter-over-quarter.” These declines are for text ads. PLAs, on the other hand, are trending in the opposite direction: their click-through rates rose 12.3 percent over Q2.

Cost Per Clicks Staying Flat

The Search Agency saw cost-per-click (CPC) rise across the search engines year-over-year, yet, CPCs remained essentially flat from Q2. “Interestingly, with two months of enhanced campaigns, tablet was the only device that had considerable CPC changes from Q2 on Google — and they decreased 6.6 percent despite being tethered to desktop on Google with enhanced campaigns.”

To find out how we helped a client increase leads and decrease costs by providing them with a pay-per-click management solution, check out the case study, Generating New Education Leads at Profitable Cost


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.