In Q2 2016, Google paid search spend in the US dipped slightly year over year among IgnitionOne customers. Slower spend growth was driven largely by a greater click share coming from mobile, where CPCs are lower. Smartphone ad spend grew 55 percent year over year; smartphone CPCs remained half of desktop.
The Q2 decline of one percent in spend was an improvement over the five-percent drop of Q1.
Across the advertiser set, impressions increased 13 percent with more mobile inventory available, and clicks rose 10 percent year over year. Smartphone impressions rose 46 percent, and clicks jumped 69 percent compared to the previous year. Click-through rates rose 16 percent on smartphones and fell 23 percent on tablets.
The spend drop last quarter was driven primarily by advertisers in the finance and travel sectors, with spend off seven percent and 12 percent respectively compared to the previous year. Education spend grew 42 percent, and it was also the only sector to see bumps in CPCs (up 14 percent year over year).
Overall, CPCs were off 10 percent compared to a year ago: down eight percent on smartphones and four percent on tablets.
IgnitionOne says the long-term effects of Google’s move to remove text ads from the right rail are still not clear, but suggests “the CPC spread between positions 4 (for queries that display four ads above the organic listings) and 5 could be significant. Q2 was the first full quarter in which Google did not display right-side text ads on desktop.
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