Mobile Paid Search Impressions Surge into 2011; Clicks, CTRs and CPCs Remain Steady

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Mobile Paid Search Impressions Surge into 2011; Clicks, CTRs and CPCs Remain Steady

Posted by James Beveridge, Sr. Analyst, Planning & Analytics

Mobile paid search impression share continues to rise for Performics’ clients in 2011.  In January, mobile paid search impressions were 9.4% of total Google paid search impressions (computers + mobile).  Trends indicate that March 2011 will be the first month where more than 10% of all impressions come from mobile devices.  This comes on the heels of IDC’s report that smartphones outsold PCs for the first time ever in Q4 2010 (100.9 million smartphones vs. 92.1 million PCs sold worldwide). 

The discrepancy between mobile and computer cost-per-clicks (CPCs) peaked in December 2010 with mobile CPCs at 43.2% the cost of computer CPCs.  Mobile CPCs then rose slightly in January 2011.  Mobile click share and click-through-rates (CTRs) have remained steady through January 2011.  See below for month-to-month trends and insights:


Mobile paid search finished 2010 at a year-long high in impression share of 8.4%. This, however, was surpassed in January 2011 with an impression share of 9.4%. Year-over-year mobile impressions have grown 238%, compared to 13% from computers.



Following a dip in November 2010, mobile paid search clicks jumped from 7.6% to 9.2% of all clicks (computers + mobile) in December.  Click share decreased slightly in January to 8.9%, driven primarily by a small group of clients that had significant December peaks in mobile clicks.  At this rate, Performics is likely to generate greater than 10% of all Google search clicks via mobile by March (in agreement with impression share).



Mobile proved to be a critical research channel in Q4 2010, with mobile CTR surpassing computer CTR across the entire period.  In January we've seen a return to prior year comparative performance.



Mobile CPCs decreased in December for the seventh straight month.  The discrepancy between mobile and computer CPCs peaked in December with mobile CPCs at 43.2% the cost of computer CPCs. While mobile CPCs have finally increased in January, they still remain favorably lower than computer CPCs.


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