Study ranks behavioral ads ahead of YPN but behind AdSense

Outsell released a new study “Annual Ad Spending Study: Where & Why Advertisers Are Moving Online” which includes advertiser data on not only Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network contextual advertising, but also behavioral ads – advertising which has been getting a great deal of buzz the last few months.

Advertisers rated the effectiveness of contextual and behavioral advertising, and the results – and reach – were surprising. Advertisers were using the following methods of contextual & behavoral advertising:

Google 45%
Yahoo! 43%
Other 45%
Behavorial Ads 44%

But when asked to rate if the ads were “Extremely/Somewhat Effective” the results were as follows:

Google 46.8%
Yahoo! 40.1%
Other 34.4%
Behavioral Ads 44.2%

Ads served through Google AdSense were considered significantly more effective than Yahoo Publisher Network served ads. And surprisingly, Behavioral ads were fairly close behind AdSense. It is unfortunate that more details are not given about which companies are serving the Behavioral ads, or what companies are most predominant in the “Other” category.

Other notes of interest is that advertisers considered advertising on the Google AdSense network more effective than advertising through search keywords (ie. advertisements that appear on search engine results pages) on MSN, where only 46.1% of advertisers found them extremely/somewhat effective. And when comparing search keywords from both Google and Yahoo!, advertisers found Google most effective at 70.9% compared to Yahoo! at 61.6%

The source is Outsell’s Advertising Tracking Database:

The study is based on a survey Outsell fielded to 1,200 advertisers in November 2005, all responsible for ad spending or specifying ad budgets, controlling an estimated $2.4 billion in advertising. Confidence level is 95% +/- 3%.

ZDNet also discusses the findings on a broader scale as it related to online advertising as a whole.

The online channel is now used by 80% of advertisers, higher than previously reported. Outsell projects more than 90% adoption by 2008. Total online marketing spending will grow 19% in 2006, eight times the rate of TV ads and six times the rate for print ads. Spending on search engine advertising will grow 26% in 2006.

For publishers earning money through contextual advertising, this news is very promising.

There is more analysis of the findings at ClickZ and DMNews.

You can request a full copy of the PDF report at Outsell.

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