Facebook Continues to Outpace Google in Click-Through Rates

Facebook’s focus on providing higher-quality impressions for its advertisers is paying off, according to the latest research from Adobe Digital Index.

Facebook’s focus on providing higher-quality impressions for its advertisers is paying off, according to the latest research from Adobe Digital Index.

For its Q3 2015 Digital Advertising and Social Intelligence Report, Adobe Digital Index analyzed consumer activity on branded sites from the third quarter of 2014 through the third quarter of 2015, examining more than 900 billion digital ad impressions from search and social platforms, as well as more than 23 billion referred visits from social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Highlights of the findings by Adobe Digital Index included:

  • Facebook ad impressions rose 10 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the previous quarter.
  • Revenue per visit is rising across the board for social networks, with Facebook topping the list at $1.24, followed by Pinterest ($0.74), Twitter ($0.60) and Reddit ($0.57).
  • Smartphone traffic from social networks doubled year-over-year, while desktop and tablet traffic from smartphones only rose 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively, over the same time period.
  • Facebook continued to hold off Google in terms of growth in click-through rates, with the social network posting a 35 percent gain in the third quarter of 2015 versus the third quarter of 2014, compared with 25 percent for the search giant.
  • Usage of streaming social applications continues to rise, but they still have not reached mainstream adoption.

Adobe Digital Index said in a blog post discussing its findings:

Google’s recent release of Customer Match–a new tool that helps advertisers personalize display ads based on historic search data–is a direct response to consumers’ finding Facebook ads (51 percent) more relevant than Google’s display ads, the majority of which run on YouTube (17 percent), ADI posited. Google+ (6 percent) and Pinterest (6 percent) were the next-best-rated, so Google is undoubtedly feeling the heat.

Adobe Digital Index principal analyst Tamara Gaffney added:

Facebook ad CTRs rose 35 percent year-over-year, indicating that targeting efforts are paying off. Marketers are using the platform more, and impressions are rebounding.

Readers: What did you think of the latest findings by Adobe Digital Index?


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.