Facebook Crushes Google in Display Growth

Down goes Google! Down goes Google!

Actually, not really. However, Facebook did crush the company with its strong display growth—a 40% increase year-over-year compared to Google’s 19% drop. That’s according to IgnitionOne‘s Q3 2015 Digital Marketing Report.

The report demonstrated continuing trends in digital advertising metrics, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of growth in paid search spend in the U.S.—up 12% YoY, as well as a 7% increase in spend for programmatic display.

Recent partnership changes for Yahoo and Bing are also expected to affect trends, according to the report. Other findings include:

  • Search spend growth continues: U.S. paid search spend grew 12% YoY in Q3, with click-through rate and cost-per-click increases pointing to more expensive but efficient ads. Sophistication in mobile advertising could be the culprit in the spend increase.
  • Mobile search shows slower growth: Shifts in user behavior from tablets and desktop to mobile phones led to an increase in mobile search spend of 56% YoY. Tablets, much like desktops, were flat, according to the report. It suggests this is because of the similar ways they’re managed by users, in addition to an increase in sophistication and interest in mobile traffic. This resulted in 64% of mobile spend share devoted to phones and 36% share going to tablets.
  • Yahoo Gemini brings change: Its arrival in the marketplace gives Yahoo the ability to sell its own mobile and native ads into its own search results while giving it more control.
  • Facebook outpaces Google as ad costs rise: In addition to the aforementioned victory in display spend, the cost of Facebook ads also continued to climb—with eCPMs up 33% compared to last year.
  • Programmatic display indicates shift to re-marketing: With regards to display tactics in Q3, the report shows a slight shift toward re-marketing ads when compared to last quarter—coming in at 53% of spend.
  • Additional insights by vertical: Breakouts by auto, travel, finance, retail, and education are shown in the report, with finance as the black sheep. It continues to see large drops in impressions—down 57% due to interest rates and demand, while also realizing strong growth of 130% in click-through rate.

“While Google still owns the majority of display spend, Facebook is quickly catching up,” said Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne. “And with Facebook’s debut of Atlas and Google’s response of Custom Match, it’s clear that these two heavyweight champs intend to keep going at each other in the ring like Ali and Frazier. It’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves with another Thrilla in Manilla on our hands—neither of these players is going down without a fight.”

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