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In news which will come as a blow to Facebook ahead of the public offering of shares in the company, research has shown that click-through rates for display advertising on the site lag well behind those for Google's display network.

The Google display network is the largest in the world, and lets users place ads on Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger, as well as more than two million other popular websites.

Typical click-through rates for ads on the Google display network are 0.4 per cent