In 2010, Google gathered in $29.3 billion, the plurality of which (97 percent) was revenues from search advertising. But who is extending this wealth and what are they extending it on?
According To Kevin Lee, CEO Of Search Marketing Firm Didit:
"There is no perfect data source, so anything you get you also have to take with a grain of salt,"
Plenty of corporations invest in the tens of millions on search each year and several spend in the hundreds of millions. The top spenders have huge consumer businesses based importantly, if not entirely, on their ability to perform in search. The top expender is IAC/InterActiveCorp, owner of Match.com, Ask.com, City search and other companies that depend upon buying long-tail search terms in bulk. Ask, in specific, buys lots of inexpensive keywords and re-markets them to advertisers bidding on like keywords.
Other top players in the top 10, such as Amazon ($118 million) and eBay ($70 million), buy massive amounts of keywords to straight traffic to specific items for sale or bid. Expedia and Priceline bid on expensive travel-related keywords. Microsoft Corp. is a large advertiser for many products and services, contain its own search engine, Bing.
Microsoft, at just under $71 million and one of Google’s largest rivals, is the sixth biggest search advertiser on Google. Other famous include large travel sites Expedia ($92 million) and Priceline ($67 million). Experian Group was the fifth biggest advertiser, investing more than $79 million.
Hence the positions are for parent companies, AT&T's spending would contain its Yellow Pages business as well as wireless service. In addition to wireless, e-commerce and travel, banking, car-rental companies and insurance are well-represented in the top 20. Private equity firm Blackstone Group is on the list in part because it owns Hilton Group and Travelport, parent of company of Orbitz.
The numbers don't include the fourth quarter, typically the heaviest for advertising in general and particularly for search.
"Google owns 44 percent of the global advertising market."
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“How Google Makes Its Billions: The 20 Most Expensive AdWords Keyword Categories.”
Below is an infographic, "Google: Behind the Numbers" from BusinessMBA.org: