Skip to navigationSkip to content

The most tech-savvy part of the US is also the least likely to click on ads

AP Photo/Richard Drew
Beware of what you click.
By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Do the techies of Silicon Valley know something the rest of the US doesn’t?

People who live in the San Francisco Bay Area are the most wary of clicking on online ads, a report released today found. According to AdRoll, an ad-tech company that counts 25,000 advertisers and reaches 1 billion users every quarter, people in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Fremont, California, are among the least likely in the US to click on ads, based on an analysis of click-through rates on its platform throughout the month of January.

Perhaps they don’t want to be tracked by third parties as they browse the internet, or perhaps they’re better at detecting ads from ordinary search results. There’s at least a little bit of irony to their aversion, considering a good portion of Silicon Valley has been funded on the back of online advertising dollars.

AdRoll declined to draw any conclusions. However, marketing communications director Gregory Kennedy noted there are “outliers on both sides.” Madison, Wisconsin, is ranked second among US cities that click on ads the least. Meanwhile, New York City and San Mateo, California, another Bay Area suburb, are among the list of cities that click on ads the most.

Zooming further out, AdRoll found another strong regional trend. Overall, southern states—in particular Mississippi (which scores a 10, the highest possible score, on AdRoll’s index), Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina—click at much higher rates than their western counterparts, as the map below demonstrates.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.