Google have been working very hard to monetise the mobile search engine in the last few months. The aim of the changes was to increase the number of ad clicks, and their efforts have been working. In a recent change, Google added an extra text ad to the top of mobile search engines, bringing the amount to 3. As a result the average and organic ads are pushed further down the page, resulting in more impressions for mobile ads.
Mobile Ads CTR Increase but its Not All Good News on Mobile Search
Another significant change was the size difference for the product listing ads that was added back in September. The PLAs are now almost twice as big as they were, dominating the mobile search results pages. As the PLAs can take up almost all of the results page it was thought that the CTR of these ads would increase too, but the opposite seems to have happened on all devices but especially mobile phones. The CTR for the PLAs has decreased, possibly due to the fact that the PLAs are often coming in via the Google search partners, resulting in a decline in clicks, but they are expected to rise again thanks to the new format.
It’s hardly surprising to learn that organic search growth has witnessing a decline in impressions. With more ads and larger PLAs taking the top of the page the organic results are naturally pushed below the fold, only to be seen if the mobile user takes the time to scroll down the page. As a result of these changes organic search visit growth has decreased by 31%, from 51% in Q2 to 20% in Q3. This decline isn’t being put solely down to the paid ads claiming the top of the pages. Google updated the Local Pack in August, giving users more information about local businesses right on the premium location in the mobile SERP. It is believed that this local information has removed the need for some users to click through to the website.
What Does this All Mean for Businesses?
Google will be very pleased to see an increase in mobile search revenue, but what does it mean for advertisers?
- More research and analysis of the mobile audience will be required
- Ads and content need to be optimised for mobile devices
- Great investments in PPC
- Increased time spent on paid search
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