Walmart Contributes To Search Ad Spend Rise To $61.69B In 2020

COVID-19 sent media buys into a spin last year, but accelerated the long-term outcome.

Travel advertisers typically are among the biggest spenders in search on Google, but ecommerce-related search advertising stepped in to pick up the slack -- and with it produced some unexpected results.

For the first time, eMarketer broke out search advertising revenue at Walmart. The company grew its share in 2020, and will account for 1.1% of net search ad revenue this year.

eMarketer estimates that U.S. search ad spend reached $61.69 billion last year -- up 10.4% compared with 2019 -- but came in more than $2 billion short of the analyst firm’s March 2020 yearly forecast.

Despite the decline, eMarketer forecasts search ad spend will reach levels higher than previously expected in 2021.

The revised March 2020 forecast estimates search will reach $86.95 in 2022, rising to $97.76 in 2023, and $109.08 in 2024.

The original forecast put March 2020 estimates for search at $80.16 in 2022, rising to $86.18 in 2023, and $91.32 in 2024.



While search engines benefited overall, Amazon took share from Google, taking the lead with an estimated net share of the U.S. search ad market rising from 13.3% in 2019 to 18.6% in 2020. eMarketer estimates that Google lost more than 4 points of net search share last year and will lose almost as much again by 2023.

In March 2020, eMarketer had expected Amazon to grow its share of search spending to 15.2% last year, and to reach 18.5% in 2023. The company also expected Google to maintain almost a 60% share of the market through at least 2022.

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