Lu and Du


  • Compared with desktop users, smartphone users, on average, more likely will click on the top paid search advertisement and are more sensitive to advertisement position change for unbranded searches (i.e., queries without the focal advertiser’s brand name). Such differences, however, do not exist for branded searches—queries with the focal advertiser’s brand name.
  • Tablet users are similar to smartphone users regarding both the tendency to click on the top paid search advertisement and the sensitivity to advertisement position change.
  • Advertisers should avoid a one-size-fits-all strategy and should make device-specific adjustments to their paid search advertisement campaigns.


Paid search advertising accounts for 46 percent of digital-marketing expenditure and is expected to reach $142.5 billion in 2021 (Ironpaper, 2017). One way for advertisers to improve the performance of paid search advertising is to consider segmenting their paid search advertising campaigns by devices. Discussion of the benefits of doing so is inconclusive, however. Although some advertisers suggest that device segmentation is an effective strategy, others believe that it is not worth the trouble of setting up separate campaigns for different devices (Lolk, 2017).