How Apple Could Play Spoiler For The Search Ad Business

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With the start of a new year, it’s a fitting time to reflect on all that happened in the previous year and look ahead to what this next one might have in store for us.

Thinking about what developments could have the greatest impact on paid search in 2016, for better or worse, a few possibilities jump to mind: Google significantly expanding its foray into audience-based targeting for search; Yahoo abandoning Bing Ads entirely for Google ads or for its own Gemini program; Google finally throwing its full weight behind the buy button/Purchases with Google program.

Another possibility that has been simmering for some time is whether or not Apple will make a move that shakes up the entire search industry. With so much volume flowing through their devices, there are a number of ways they could do this.

Ad Blocking In iOS

Some feared that the introduction of ad blocking app capabilities in iOS would hurt mobile marketing efforts — but to date, any impact to paid search programs has been largely imperceptible, and iOS has maintained its share of mobile Google search ad clicks.

Ad blockers shot to the top of Apple’s App Store charts shortly after the release of iOS 9 in September 2015, but they quickly faded and have now all but disappeared.

Source: Merkle|RKG Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2015

Source: Merkle|RKG Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2015

Ad blocking will likely be more of a slow burn on mobile, as it has been on desktop. Short of Apple introducing its own ad-blocking product that is on by default, which seems unlikely, chances are the situation we find ourselves in now will not change dramatically any time soon.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Mark Ballard is the Senior Director of Research at Merkle|RKG. He manages and writes for the popular RKGBlog and heads the production of Merkle|RKG’s quarterly Digital Marketing Reports, which cover Paid Search, SEO, Display, Social Media and more. Mark’s time at Merkle|RKG has included building and managing paid search programs for clients in the retail, finance, B2B and automotive sectors.

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