Advertisers invested more in paid search ads served via tablet devices than via smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Global Online Advertising Trends quarterly report, a study of key trends in paid search, mobile, and social advertising by Marin Software.

Desktops and laptop still accounted for the biggest share of paid search spend on the Marin platform in the fourth quarter, 83% on average, down 3 points from 86% three months earlier.

But device targeting gained more momentum during the quarter, with tablets and smartphones together accounting for 17% of paid search spending:

  • Tablets accounted for 8% of spend, up from 7% in 3Q12. (Prior to the fourth quarter of 2012, investment in tablet advertising lagged ad spend smartphone ads).
  • Smartphones accounted for 8% of total spend, up from 7% three months earlier.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.