Digital Titans: Google Rules Search, While Facebook Dominates Display

As U.S. digital ad spending is on track to reach $83 billion in 2017 — an increase of 15.9 percent over last year — Google is likely to maintain its dominance.

In fact, Google could account for 40.7 percent of U.S. digital ad revenues this year. That would be more than double Facebook’s share, according to recent eMarketer estimates.

Google’s share of the search market is forecast to grow 16.1 percent to $28.55 billion in 2017. That would be roughly 78 percent of total U.S. search ad revenues this year.

“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,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Monica Peart. “Google and mobile search as a whole will continue to benefit from this behavioral shift.”

But when it comes to display, Facebook rules. While Google’s display business will rise to $5.24 billion, its slice of the display market pie will drop to 12.5 percent.

“The social network’s U.S. display business will jump 32.1 percent to $16.33 billion, capturing 39.1 percent of the display market, taking share away from Google, Yahoo, and Twitter,” notes the forecast.

Facebook’s revenue growth can be attributed to growth in both usage and time spent, which continues to draw advertisers in greater numbers — as well as video, both live and recorded, which are attracting big engagement.

And then there’s Snapchat, fresh off its recent IPO.

“Snapchat is poised for explosive growth this year,” posits eMarketer. “In 2017, Snapchat’s ad revenue will grow 157.8 percent to $770 million in the U.S. That’s slightly lower than the $800 million previously projected, due to higher-than-estimated revenue sharing with partners.”