Structural Holes and Banner-Ad Click-Throughs


This paper examines the impact of social capital on advertising performance in an online social network. Specifically, we show that a widely-employed measure of social capital—network constraint—explains variation in the number of click-throughs received by 5986 banner advertisements appearing on 25 Twitter-related websites. As predicted, banner advertisements receive significantly more clicks when placed on websites that bridge structural holes, i.e. bridge otherwise disconnected segments of the network.

Share and Cite:

S. Hunter III and R. Chinta, "Structural Holes and Banner-Ad Click-Throughs," Technology and Investment, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 30-44. doi: 10.4236/ti.2013.41005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Interactive Advertising Bureau, “April 2009: Worldwide Social Network Ad Spending,” 2009.
[2] D. Lee, “Making money on a social network,” 2009.
[3] Twitter, “Does Twitter Hate Advertising?” 2009.
[4] M. Monahan, “KPMG/Always on VC Survey: What You’re Telling Us,” On Media NYC, New York, 2008.
[5] P. Kafka and A. Hallberg, “Report Card: Advertising Meets Social Networks-Have Ads Shown Traction on Major Social Networks and if Not, How Can They Be Optimized?” On Media NYC, New York, 2008.
[6] D. A. Williamson, “Social Network Marketing: Slow Growth Ahead for Ad Spending,” e-Marketer, 2008.
[7] A. Enders, H. Hungenberg, H.-P. Denker and S. Mauch, “The Long Tail of Social Networking: Revenue Models of Social Networking Sites,” European Management Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2008, pp. 199-211. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2008.02.002
[8] C. P. Campbell, P. Maglio, A. Cozzi and B. Dorn, “Expertise Identification Using Email Communications,” Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, New Orleans, 2003, pp. 528-531.
[9] T. Palonen and K. Hakkarainen, “Patterns of Interaction in Computer-Supported Learning: A Social Network Analysis,” In: B. Fishman and S. O’Connor-Divelbiss, Eds., Fourth International Conferences of the Learning Sciences, Mahwah, 2000, pp. 334-339.
[10] L. Leydesdorff, “Betweenness Centrality as an Indicator of the Interdisciplinarity of Scientific Journals,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 58, No. 9, 2007, pp. 1303-1319. doi:10.1002/asi.20614
[11] J. Xu and H. Chen, “Criminal Network Analysis and Visualization,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 486, No. 6, 2005, pp. 101-107.
[12] S. P. Borgatti and L. Xun, “On Network Theory. Organization Science,” Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2009, pp. 5-22. doi:10.1111/j.1745-493X.2009.03166.x
[13] S. Rodan and C. Galunic, “More than Network Structure: How Knowledge Heterogeneity Influences Managerial Performance and Innovativeness,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 25, No. 6, 2004, pp. 541-556. doi:10.1002/smj.398
[14] P. Balkundi, M. Kilduff, Z. Barsness and J. Michael, “Demographic Antecedents and Performance Consequences of Structural Holes,” Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2007, pp. 241-260. doi:10.1002/job.428
[15] S. Okazaki, “The Tactical Use of Mobile Marketing: How Adolescents: Social Networking Can Best Shape Brand Extensions,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 49, No 1, 2009, pp. 12-26. doi:10.2501/S0021849909090102
[16] N. Lin, K. Cook and R. Burt, “Social Capital: Theory and Research,” Aldine de Gruyter, New York, 2001.
[17] R. Burt, “Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005.
[18] R. Burt, “Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition,” Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1995.
[19] V. Krebs, “Social Network Analysis, A Brief Introduction,” 2009.
[20] R. Burt, “The Network Structure of Social Capital,” Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2000, pp. 325-423.
[21] P. Moran, “Structural and Relational Embeddedness: Social Capital and Managerial Performance,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 26, No. 12, 2005, pp. 1129-1151. doi:10.1002/smj.486
[22] G. Soda, A. Usai and A. Zaheer, “Network Memory: The Influence of Past and Current Networks on Performance,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 47, No. 6, 2004, pp. 893-906. doi:10.2307/20159629
[23] B. Iyer, C. Lee and N. Venkatraman, “Managing in a Small World Ecosystem: Some Lessons from the Software Sector,” California Management Review, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2008, pp. 28-47. doi:10.2307/41166348
[24] W. Oh, J. Choi and K. Kim, “Coauthorship Dynamics and Knowledge Capital: The Patterns of Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration in Information Systems Research,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2006, pp. 265-292. doi:10.2753/MIS0742-1222220309
[25] T. Heinze, G. Bauer and P. Moran, “Structural and Relational Embeddedness: Social Capital and Managerial Performance,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 26, No. 12, 2005, pp. 1129-1151. doi:10.1002/smj.486
[26] D. Ganley and C. Lampe, “The Ties that Bind: Social Network Principles in Online Communities,” Decision Support Systems, Vol. 47, No. 3, 2009. pp. 266-274. doi:10.1016/j.dss.2009.02.013
[27] C. Okoli and W. Oh, “Investigating Recognition-Based Performance in an Open Content Community: A Social Capital Perspective,” Information and Management, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2007, pp. 240-252. doi:10.1016/
[28] R. Gatarski, “Breed Better Banners: Design Automation through On-Line Interaction,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2001, pp. 2-13. doi:10.1002/dir.10002
[29] H. Robinson and A. Wysocka and C. Hand, “Internet Advertising Effectiveness: The Effect of Design for ClickThrough Rates for Banner Ads,” International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2007, pp. 527-541.
[30] R. Briggs and N. Hollis, “Advertising on the Web: Is There Response before Click-Through?” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1997, pp. 33-45.
[31] H. Li and J. Bukovac, “Cognitive Impact of Banner Ad Characteristics: An Experimental Study,” Journalism & Mass Communication, Vol. 76, No. 2, 1999, pp. 341-353. doi:10.1177/107769909907600211
[32] X. Dreze and F. Hussherr, “Internet Advertising: Is Anyone Watching,” Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2003, pp. 8-23.
[33] M. Dahlen, A. Rasch and S. Rosengren, “Love at First Site? A Study of Website Advertising Effectiveness,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2003, pp. 25-33.
[34] M. Dahlen, Y. Ekborn and N. Morner, “To Click or Not to Click: An Empirical Study of Response to Banner Ads for High & Low Involvement Products,” Consumption Markets and Culture, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2000, pp. 57-76. doi:10.1080/10253866.2000.9670349
[35] W. Gong and L. M. Maddox, “Measuring Web Advertising Effectiveness in China,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2003, pp. 34-49.
[36] F. Xie, N. Donthu, R. Lohtia and T. Osmonbekov, “Emotional Appeal and Incentive Offering in Banner Advertisements,” Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004, p. 6.
[37] F. Calisir and D. Karaali, “The Impacts of Banner Location, Banner Content and Navigation Style on Banner Recognition,” Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2008, pp. 535-543. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2007.02.019
[38] C. Yoo and K. Kim, “Processing of Animation in Online Banner Advertising: The Roles of Cognitive and Emotional Responses,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2005, pp. 18-34. doi:10.1002/dir.20047
[39] J. Chen, W. Ross, D. Yen and L. Akhapon, “The Effect of Types of Banner Ad, Web Localization, and Customer Involvement on Internet Users’ Attitudes,” Cyberpsychology & Behavior, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2009, pp. 71-73. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0199
[40] A. Sigel, G. Braun and M. Sena, “The Impact of Banner Ad Styles On Interaction And Click-Through Rates,” Issues in Information Systems, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2008, pp. 337-342.
[41] K. Burns and R. Lutz, “Web Users’ Perceptions of and Attitudes toward Online Advertising Formats,” International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2008, pp. 281-301. doi:10.1504/IJIMA.2008.019150
[42] R. Lohtia, N. Donthu and E. Hershberger, “The Impact of Content and Design Elements on Banner Advertising Click-Through Rates,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2003, pp. 410-418.
[43] G. Ryu, E. Lim, L. Tan and Y. Han, “Preattentive Processing of Banner Advertisements: The Role of Modality, Location, and Interference,” Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2007, pp. 6-18. doi:10.1016/j.elerap.2005.11.001
[44] B. Huhmann, “Visual Complexity in Banner Ads: The Role of Color, Photography, and Animation,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2003, pp. 10-17. doi:10.1080/15551390309363510
[45] R. Moore, C. Stammerjohan and R. Coulter, “Banner Advertiser-Web Site Context Congruity and Color Effects on Attention and Attitudes,” Journal of Advertising, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2003, pp. 71-84.
[46] L. Sherman and J. Deighton, “Banner Advertising: Measuring Effectiveness and Optimizing Placement,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2001, pp. 60-64. doi:10.1002/dir.1011
[47] FeaturedUsers, “Frequently Asked Questions: Featured Users,” 2009.
[48] S. Borgatti, M. Everett and L. Freeman, “Ucinet for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis,” Cambridge, 2009.
[49] P. Chatterjee, D. Hoffman and T. Novak, “Modeling the Clickstream: Implications for Web-Based Advertising Efforts,” Marketing Science, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2003, pp. 520-541. doi:10.1287/mksc.22.4.520.24906
[50] J. Chandon, M. Chtourou and D. Fortin, “Effects of Configuration and Exposure Levels on Responses to Web Advertisements,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2003, pp. 217-229.
[51] C. Cho, “How Advertising Works on the WWW: Modified Elaboration Likelihood Model,” Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1999, pp. 34-50. doi:10.1080/10641734.1999.10505087
[52] P. Chatterjee, “Are Unclicked Ads Wasted? Enduring Effects of Banner and Pop-Up Ad Exposures on Brand Memory and Attitudes,” Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Vol. 9, No, 1, 2008, pp. 56-61.
[53] J. Murphy, C. Hofacker and Y. Racine, “Testing Position Effects and Copy to Increase Web Page Visits,” Information Technology & Tourism, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp. 3-13. doi:10.3727/109830506778193869
[54] N. Razzouk and V. Seitz, “Banner Advertising and Consumer Recall: An Empirical Study,” Journal of Promotion Management, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, 2003, pp. 71-80. doi:10.1300/J057v09n01_07
[55] J. Wang and R. Day, “The Effects of Attention Inertia on Advertisements on the WWW,” Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1390-1407. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2004.12.014
[56] R. Dewan, M. Freimer and J. Zhang, “Management and Valuation of Advertisement-Supported Web Sites,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2003, pp. 87-98.
[57] FeaturedUsers, “Frequently Asked Questions: Publishers,” 1979.
[58] K. Burns and R. Lutz, “The Function of Format: Consumer Responses to Six On-Line Advertising Formats,” Journal of Advertising, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2006, pp. 53-63. doi:10.2753/JOA0091-3367350104
[59] R. Lohtia, N. Donthu and I. Yaveroglu, “Evaluating the Efficiency of Internet Banner Advertisements,” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 60, No. 4, 2007, pp. 365-370. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2006.10.023
[60] M. Hupfer and A. Grey, “Getting Something for Nothing: The Impact of a Sample Offer and User Mode on Banner Ad Response,” Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2006, pp. 105-117.
[61] E. Plakoyiannaki, K. Mathioudaki, P. Dimitratos and Y. Zotos, “Images of Women in Online Advertisements of Global Products: Does Sexism Exist?” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 83, No. 1, 2008, pp. 101-112. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9651-6
[62] J. Severn, G. Belch and M. Belch, “The Effects of Sexual and Non-Sexual Advertising Appeals and Information on Cognitive Processing and Communication Effectiveness,” Journal of Advertising, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1990, pp. 14-22.
[63] R. Kerin, W. Lundstrom, J. William and D. Sciglimpaglia, “Women in Advertisements: Retrospect and Prospect,” Journal of Advertising, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1979, pp. 37-42.
[64] V. Krebs, “Social Network Analysis, A Brief Introduction,” 2009.
[65] P. Danaher and G. Mullarkey, “Factors Affecting Online Advertising Recall: A Study of Students,” Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2003, pp. 252-267. doi:10.1017/S0021849903030319
[66] K. Yang, “Effects of Consumer Motives on Search Behavior Using Internet Advertising,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2008, pp. 430-442. doi:10.1089/cpb.2004.7.430

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.