Mobile Search Key To Google's Continued Market Dominance

Transformative as it has been, the mobile revolution has left Google’s dominant market position largely intact.

Indeed, the search giant will soak up the lion’s share (40.7%) of domestic digital ad revenues this year, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.

That’s more than double Facebook’s expected share of 20%.

Of course, Google has search to thank for its continued market control.

“Google’s dominance in search, especially mobile search, is largely coming from the growing tendency of consumers to turn to their smartphones to look up everything from the details of a product to directions,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Monica Peart notes in a new report.

As such, eMarketer expects Google’s share of the search market to grow 16.1%, to $28.55 billion -- or about 78% of total domestic search ad revenues -- in 2017.

Going forward, “Google and mobile search as a whole will continue to benefit from this behavioral shift,” according to Peart.



Facebook, by contrast, owes its relative success to display ads and video.

“Facebook’s users are increasingly captivated by videos on the platform -- not just on Facebook, but on Instagram as well,” Peart notes. “Video, both live and recorded, is a key driver of growing user engagement and advertiser enthusiasm.”

The social network’s domestic display business is poised to jump 32.1% to $16.33 billion -- or 39.1% of the U.S. display market -- this year.

Peart attributes Facebook’s revenue growth in both usage and time spent, which continues to draw advertisers in greater numbers.

Instagram is also helping to drive Facebook’s revenue growth. In fact, Instagram will make up 20% of Facebook’s domestic mobile revenue this year -- up from 15% last year.

Meanwhile, Google’s display business will rise to $5.24 billion, but its share of the display market will drop to 12.5%.

Snapchat, for its part, is poised for explosive growth in 2017, according to eMarketer.

This year, Snapchat’s domestic ad revenue will grow 157.8% to $770 million.

Yet, that forecast is slightly lower than the $800 million previously projected by eMarketer, due to higher-than-estimated revenue sharing with partners.

More broadly, domestic digital ad spending will reach $83.00 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 15.9%, eMarketer expects.

This column was previously published in Moblog on March 14, 2017.

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