Study predicts mobile as best platform for paid clicks

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Mobile search ads will be a focus in 2014

A recent study has predicted that mobile devices will soon account for over 50% of paid search clicks.

The study was undertaken by online advertising platform Marin Software, who provide a platform on which over $6 billion (£3.6 billion) was spent on advertising last year.

The authors of the report say they have analysed data from all around world to provide information on current trends which they believe are critical for advertisers.

The research claims that last year the number of people who clicked on a given ad was higher on mobile devices. Saying that roughly four out of every hundred people who see and ad on a mobile will click it, compared to the desktop average of two.

There is much speculation about the significance of this, with some believing that the higher number of clicks is an effect of the lower number of ads people see on a smartphone screen.

Matt Ackley, chief marketing officer at Marin, said:

"We're at the cusp of mobile being the dominant channel in search marketing. Consumers are becoming much more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets to complete transactions online, and as we see that comfort level rise advertisers will follow suit with continued investment and optimization in mobile."

Where will it lead?

The prediction by the company echoes the sentiments of Google's Matt Cutts. When he spoke at Search Marketing Expo West (SMX West) earlier this month, he said he "wouldn't be surprised" if mobile search queries surpass those of traditional desktop computers over the course of the year.

These trends which indicate that more and more people are happy to browse and shop on their mobiles may be part of a wider update to our digital lives. Technology shows no signs of slowing down: reports say that one billion Android devices will have shipped by the end of this year; and when Apple, Microsoft and other manufacturers are added to the tally, the increase in mobile usage seems self-evident.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: "While this lean toward mobile could really affect the way people in search work in the future, it's important not to get carried away. I don't believe this is the decline of desktop pay per click ads. It's more like mobile is catching up."