The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm, released its quarterly State of Paid Search Report, which, among other findings, reports that smartphones and tablets drove 23% of total clicks in the fourth quarter of 2012, an 89% increase year over year. The quarterly report analyzes aggregated client data from various industries on paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices on a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis.
The introduction of a number of new tablet models and record sales growth spurred on huge growth in both tablet use and advertiser spend. Tablet click share in Q4 more than doubled YoY and jumped 16% from Q3, and smartphones and tablets combined drove 23% of total clicks in Q4 2012, an 89% increase YoY. The last quarter of 2012 marked the first time in which share of spend on tablets exceeded spend on smartphones (8.5 versus 7.1% of total spend).
Search engine advertising continues to show healthy growth as impressions in Q4 2012 grew 11% YoY and total clicks grew 4%. Total clicks on Google increased 4% percent YoY and cost per click (CPC) rose 7% from $0.55 to $0.59. Bing also showed a 4% growth in click traffic, with a 15% increase in average CPC YoY. Bing's mobile impression share and click share increased, but is still substantially less than Google's impression and click share overall. Google continued to see more paid clicks coming from mobile devices with 25.9% of its total clicks coming from tablets and smartphones in Q4, compared to 12.6 percent for Bing.