Study: Google+ and Facebook use same ad-placement playbook

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dog-on-computer-facebook-google-adsGoogle+ might still be the new (and relatively small) kid on the social-media block, but that doesn’t mean marketers aren’t trying to figure out how to best use it to sell ads.

A new study from EyeTrackShop shows how users prioritize ads on Google+ and Facebook. Its results will certainly be eye-opening to advertisers that want to see how users shift their attentions while on either site.

The relatively small Swedish study followed 54 willing participants over a two-day period, tracking their eye movements via webcam to best gauge which parts of Google+ and Facebook’s sites they actually spent time looking at.

During their research, EyeTrackShop found that both social networking sites work almost exactly the same. Users are first drawn to the central area where the original content is located. Then people scan the top of the page from left to right before finally descending down to the ads column on the right hand side.

It’s a little peculiar that both sites work so similarly, but Google likely took many cues from Facebook while designing Google+, and it studied where ads would be least intrusive to original on-page content.

Take a look at the patterns below to see how people read Google+ and Facebook, and how they prioritize advertising last:

Facebook Visual Attention Order

Facebook - ad attention

Google+ Visual Attention Order

Google plus ad attention

Facebook Fixation Order

Facebook ads

Google+ Fixation Order

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