​Google's ad business feeling Facebook heat

According to Adobe, Facebook's ad targeting is giving chief marketing officers a nice counterweight to Google in terms of targeting.

Facebook's use of tools that better tailor ads are enticing marketers and beginning to squeeze Google, according to data from Adobe's Digital Index for the third quarter.

Google recently launched Customer Match, a tool that allows advertisers to personalize display ads based on search data. Tamara Gaffney, an analyst for the Adobe Digital Index, said in a blog post that the Google move is in response to Facebook.

According to Adobe, Facebook ads are 51 percent more relevant than Google's display ads. Many of those Google ads run on YouTube.

In short, Facebook's click-through rates are up 35 percent from a year ago. The big takeaway is that chief marketing officers increasingly see Facebook as a strong Google counterweight. It's worth noting that Google is still growing with click through rates up 25 percent from a year ago.

Adobe's analysis is based on more than 900 billion digital ad impressions as well as more than 23 billion referred social visits.

Other takeaways:

  • North America leads the globe in search marketing spend with gains of 17 percent from a year ago.
  • Bing's growth in paid search spend surpasses Google in every region but North America. This growth, however, is off a smaller base.
  • Smartphone cost per click growth is flat for the third quarter.