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Early Read on Google’s New Mobile Phone Network Setting

Earlier this week, Google released an update to their “Networks and Bidding” Campaign settings. A new option, listed under Device Platform, allows advertisers to opt in/out of ad distribution based on “Desktop and laptop computers” versus “iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers”.

(Geek Note: An important distinction here is that we’re discussing mobile devices that have full HTML enabled web browsers, like an iPhone. Older devices, are likely using some version of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browsers, which will not be considered in this new Network Setting.)

This begs the question, do we care or not?

The first note – prior to this distribution setting release, ads were displayed on both computers and HTML browsing devices by default. Google therefore, has graciously opted all campaigns in to both device networks, so there is no real change to traffic.

What does the data look like by device bucket?

We analyzed our clients who would be most likely to have success with shoppers using full HTML web browsing handheld devices. On average, iPhone like devices account for ~ 0.35% (yes, less than 1%) of all Google PPC click traffic. Albeit minimal data compared to the overall, iPhone like devices have lower CRs, but slightly higher AOVs. Makes intuitive sense, as mobile users are less likely to place an order with a handheld device, but the demographic audience using such a device, may be more likely to purchase higher ticket items.

The bottom line is, keep the network distribution ON for mobile devices, but don’t waste time developing new campaigns or strategies for the iPhone like traffic. While “your mileage may vary”, we’re seeing these shoppers as less than 1% of Google AdWords PPC traffic, with enough conversions to justify the clicks.

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  • Matthew Mierzejewski
    Matthew Mierzejewski is EVP of SEO at RKG.
  • Comments
    2 Responses to “Early Read on Google’s New Mobile Phone Network Setting”
    1. I’ve seen this feature too. I think you are spot on in wondering “Do we care?”

      I wrote a post about how to use Google Analytics to monitor mobile users: http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/12/should-you-show-ads-to-mobile-users.html

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