Google edges out Facebook, flies by Yahoo in horse race for display ad dominance

Image Credit: dawvon/Flickr

Google versus Facebook: The battle between the two behemoths takes place on many fields, including social, but the search giant will most certainly best its younger rival in one important area this year: display ad revenue.

Google will bring in $2.31 billion in U.S. online display ad revenue for 15.4 percent market share this year, according to eMarketer’s estimates. With those numbers, Google will reclaim the title from Facebook as the number one digital ad-selling company.

EMarketer’s projections incorporate data from company reports and reflect advertising sales for desktop and mobile.

Last year, Facebook beat Google in display ad revenue. In 2011, Google took home $1.67 billion in net revenue from U.S. display ads and grabbed 13.5 percent of the market. Facebook eked out a wee bit more with $1.73 billion in revenue for 14.1 percent share that year.

EMarketer expects Facebook to make $2.16 billion from U.S. display ad sales for a second place finish this year.

Yahoo, the one-time display ad leader in the U.S., has fallen from glory in the most dramatic of fashions. Yahoo, which held 14 percent share and the number one spot in 2010, fell to third place last year. In 2012, the media company will once again finish third with $1.39 billion in revenue, albeit with a much diminished share — just 9.3 percent — of a total U.S. display ad market that ballooned by 21.5 percent to $14.98 billion.

Yahoo, by eMarketer’s calculations, is quickly losing relevance. The firm anticipates that Yahoo will continue to marginally grow its U.S. display ad revenue year-over-year, but it will lose a significant chunk of its share as Google and Facebook widen the market and command the majority of it.

“Display growth at [Google and Facebook] is strong — and far stronger than other major display sellers,” eMarketer said in its report. “Combined, Google and Facebook will represent just below 30 percent of total display ad revenues by the end of 2012. This is expected to climb to 37 percent in 2014 as the two companies shut smaller platforms out of the market — despite a fragmented display marketplace, especially among mobile ad publishers and networks.”

Photo credit: dawvon/Flickr

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