DoubleClick BenchmarksDoubleClick released their 2010 Display Benchmarks that reveal valuable insight into the Google AdWords Display Network (GDN).  This collection of reports provides tremendous detail as to how various ad types and sizes perform on the GDN.  I am going to point out some of the highlights, but please feel free to review the entire report at Google.


2010 Distribution of Impressions by Creative Type:

Flash – 54%
Image – 28%
Rich Media
– in-Page/Non-Video – 10%
– in-Page/Video – 3%
– Expandable/Video – 3%
– Expandable/Non-Video – 2%

CTR by Creative Size:

Google provides detailed information regarding the performance of all ad sizes, but there is no one ad size or type that seems to be superior to all others.  However, as may be expected, the larger sized ads do tend to see a slightly higher click-through-rate (CTR).

CTR by Creative Type:

Flash Ads – 0.09%
Image Ads – 0.09%
Rich Media
– in-Page/Non-Video – 0.11%
– in-Page/Video – 0.08%
– Expandable/Video – 0.09%
– Expandable/Non-Video – 0.09%

Based on reviewing CTRs alone, it appears there is no need for advertisers to spend a lot of money on fancy, interactive flash or rich media ads (for example, ads that expand when users click or roll over and there are extensive possibilities for interactive content, such as HD video or even the ability to click to make a phone call).  However, there is more to this story.


When reviewing ad performance, CTRs alone do not tell the entire story.  Ultimately, an ad’s cost-per-conversion is the most important variable in determining success, but Google does not provide that information.  It is important to note that rich media formats introduce another variable that needs to be considered, and this is called the Interaction Rate.  According to DoubleClick, an interaction is uniquely counted only once per impression and is captured when the user does one or more of the following:

– Mouses over the ad for 1 continuous second
– Clicks an Exit link
– Makes the ad display in Full Screen mode
– Expands the ad

Though not all of these actions may appear thrilling, they do represent some form of interaction with advertiser ads.  Rich media ads receive Interaction Rates over 2% on the GDN.  Though this number may sound low, it is staggering compared to a 0.09% CTR.  So even though rich media ads tend to receive the same CTRs as other ad formats, each rich media ad clicked on also generates about 22 additional interactions.  In fact, larger half page rich media ads saw interaction rates over 3.5% in 2010.  Interaction does not necessarily result in conversions, but it certainly helps ensure users are at least seeing your message.

The GDN has proven to be a valuable marketplace for many advertisers.  Are you taking advantage?