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Google CPCs on tablet exceed desktops

July 23, 2013

The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm, has released its latest State of Paid Search Report which found that the second quarter of 2013 marks the first quarter ever in which tablet cost-per-clicks (CPCs) exceeded desktops, with the average tablet CPC on Google 1.7 per cent higher than the average CPC on desktop.

“The shift in consumer search from desktop to smartphones and tablets, coupled with advertiser adoption of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns, has caused increased competition for traffic across these new platforms and CPCs to spike,” said Keith Wilson, vice president of agency products at The Search Agency. “As a result, there was a noticeable divide between Google and Bing CPCs, with Bing CPCs experiencing a 1 per cent decline QoQ while Google CPCs increased 21 per cent.”

Additional findings from The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Report include:

Paid Search Spend Increased 16 per cent YoY

  • Overall impressions across all search engines increased 7.5 per cent YoY and 20 per cent QoQ
  • Search engine clicks increased 5.2 per cent YoY, but decreased 6.4 per cent QoQ
  • Overall search spend increased 15.8 per cent YoY and 9.7 per cent QoQ

Google CPCs Up 8.3 per cent YoY

  • On Google, CPCs showed an increase across every type of device QoQ – computer, mobile and tablet – with the largest increase coming on tablets at 26 per cent
  • This quarter marks the first time ever in which tablet CPCs on Google are higher than desktop CPCs
  • Google impressions were up 10.8 per cent YoY and 21.4 per cent QoQ, but the search engine experienced a steep drop in CTR, falling from 3.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent QoQ

Tablets CPCs May be Up, but Volume Levelling Out

  • Tablet clicks were down 8 per cent QoQ, marking the first quarter in which click volume on tablets has declined
  • Nonetheless, tablet click volume is still up 62 per cent YoY
  • The relative decline in clicks QoQ tells a different story: increased impressions and decreased clicks may indicate a shift in matching or query mapping changes at the search engine level

Smartphones Still Going Strong

  • Smartphones were the only type of device showing an increase in clicks compared with Q1 – up 1.6 per cent QoQ
  • Smartphones also delivered the largest increase in advertiser spend, up 25 per cent QoQ
  • While total clicks declined 9.5 per cent YoY on desktops, smartphones clicks increased 107.3 per cent and tablet clicks increased 61.7 per cent YoY


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