Since mobile search has been growing at such a phenomenal rate, it is only a matter of time before mobile paid search follows suit. 2011 is predicted to be the year, for this to happen, and for once, it actually may be true.
Reports from Performics Inc. indicate that by the end of 2011, Mobile Google paid search will generate 16% of all Google paid search clicks. This figure was only about 3.5% in January 2010.
The surge in the growth of mobile paid search has already begun in the last few months of 2010. However, conversion rates from mobile search advertisements are lower than those from paid search on desktops.
James Beveridge, a senior analyst at Performics says, “Conversion rates are still lower for mobile search than desktop, suggesting that advertisers should focus on improving mobile site experience.”
Imran Khan of JP Morgan believes that monetising mobile search is the most important opportunity for Google this year. He finds that while mobile search queries have grown over 5 times in the last couple of years, and still continues to grow, only 3% of Google’s search advertising revenue comes from mobile and Google should now focus on strengthening this sector.
Robert Hamilton, Google’s own product manager for mobile search also says that mobile search usage has gone up by 130% in the third quarter of 2010 and the amount of search traffic on Android tripled during the first half of 2010. He also estimates that the number of mobile phones in use worldwide will reach 5 billion soon, and by 2014, there will be more mobile Internet users than wired Internet users.
Getting Mobile PPC Right
All facts point to the obvious conclusion – Google needs to concentrate on mobile PPC now. However, just like video, mobile has proved to be a difficult channel for Google to monetise.
Over the years Google has tested various mobile ad placements. Currently, ads are shown above and below the search results, depending on the nature of the query. Only time and extensive testing will tell what ad format and placement will work best for Google Mobile Search.