Mobile Now 12% of All Paid Search Impressions; Tablets 2% of All Impressions

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July 14, 2011
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July 19, 2011

Mobile Now 12% of All Paid Search Impressions; Tablets 2% of All Impressions

Posted by James Beveridge, Senior Analyst

Performics has aggregated AdWords mobile paid search impression, click and cost-per-click (CPC) data for our clients during the first half of 2011.  We found that mobile paid search traffic is now 12% of all paid search impressions (mobile + desktop), while mobile clicks are about to cross the 12% threshold.  Tablets now account for 1.7% of all paid search impressions (mobile + desktop), which is 14% of all mobile impressions.


Mobile continued to gain share in Q2 2011, lifting impressions to fully 12.1% of total paid search impressions (desktop + mobile) in June.  This figure now distinctly includes mobile and tablet devices.  As of June 1st, Google AdWords began breaking-out “Tablets with Full Browsers” as a distinct device within AdWords reporting.  Until now, tablet traffic was grouped under all mobile traffic.  Initial tablet data proves that tablets have been materially contributing to mobile traffic for the past few months.  In the first month of separate tracking and reporting within AdWords, tablets contributed to 14.3% of all mobile impressions.  Thus, tablets already compose almost 2% of all search impressions (desktop + mobile) across Performics’ clients:


Mobile click share also continued to rise—to 11.9% of all paid search clicks (mobile + desktop) in June. Tablets contributed 13.3% of all mobile clicks:

Click-Through Rates (CTR)

For the past two months, mobile and tablet devices have been virtually tied with desktops for CTR. This follows 11 months of volatility during which mobile devices lagged desktops:

Cost-Per-Clicks (CPC)

Mobile and tablet CPCs continue to track significantly below desktops, suggesting an effective equilibrium for the time being.  Initial expectations of mobile CPC inflation have not yet come to pass:

Deep-Dive: Tablets

Early tablet impressions are heavily weighted towards display, with virtually no impressions coming from Google search partners. Tablet clicks—like PCs and mobile—are largely coming through Google search, not display or syndicated search partners:

June Impressions 
June clicks 

Time of Day Tablet Search Behavior (*Excluding Display and Search Partners)

Initial tablet search behavior by time of day closely resembles existing mobile habits—usage peaks during off-work hours.  While PC searches peak between the hours of 9AM and 5PM, mobile and tablet usage peaks between the hours of 5PM and 10PM.  However, while mobile devices also see moderately strong search usage between the hours of 11AM and 5PM, tablet devices are almost exclusively restricted to the evening period.  The implications are that tablet users are restricting their browsing to specific times of the day when they are more liable to multitask between tablets and mobile devices:

ScreenHunter_09 Jul. 18 11.56  
Time of Day Impressions

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