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Google Paid Search Trends: 1Q17

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
May 10, 2017

The proportion of clicks on Google AdWords units originating from mobile phones increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) compared with the first quarter of 2016, according to recent research from iProspect.

The report was based on 1Q17 paid search data from 1,300 Google AdWords accounts and more than 176,000 active campaigns.

Some 59% of clicks on Google paid search units in 1Q17 came from mobile phones, up 24% from 1Q16; 32% of clicks in 1Q17 came from desktop computers, and 10% from tablets.

Although smartphones accounted for a larger share of paid search clicks in 1Q17, the average clickthrough rate (CTR) for mobile units decreased 27% from 1Q16 levels.

That decrease in CTR was likely because of Google's introduction in mid-2016 of additional paid search units on mobile SERPs as well as increased competition for mobile inventory.

Cost per click (CPC) increased for paid search units across all devices from 1Q16 to 1Q17, with the largest increase coming from mobile (up 42%); desktop and tablet CPCs increased 26% and 18%, respectively.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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