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Search Ad Spending will Reach $30 Billion by 2016


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) practices have evolved over the last few years, but the demand from small, medium and very large brand advertisers has been consistent. The upside market potential is impressive and one company stands to gain significantly from this phenomenon -- Google.

According to the latest market assessment by eMarketer, U.S. search engine advertiser spending will maintain strong growth this year -- in part, boosted by major national government elections and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

eMarketer estimates that U.S. search spending this year will rise 27 percent to $19.51 billion. By 2016, search ad spending will approach $30 billion, following slower but consistent growth between now and then.

Among the top four search sites, Google revenues will grow most quickly in 2012, although the growth rates at Microsoft will surpass Google in 2013 and 2014.

Regardless, by that point in time, Google will have nearly 10 times the search ad revenue of Microsoft -- that's $20.28 billion (Google) vs. just $2.21 billion (Microsoft). Google will remain the search ad leader in the U.S., and will continue to solidify its dominant position in the marketplace.

This year, eMarketer estimates Google will attain 77.9 percent of all U.S. search ad revenues. By 2014, its share will be 79.8 percenet.

Microsoft likewise will gain some market share -- as Yahoo! and AOL continue to be marginal players in the market, with each losing more than half its share of the American search advertiser revenues between 2011 and 2014.

By 2014, search ad revenues at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL will account for 92.1 percent of all U.S. search ad revenues -- and 44.3 percent of all U.S. online ad revenues, that's up from just under 90 percent of all search ad revnues and 43 percent of all U.S. online ad revenues in 2011.

Note, eMarketer currently benchmarks its U.S. total search ad spending projections against data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, for which the last full year measured was 2010.

Forecasts of revenues at the top search ad-selling companies are based on a meta-analysis of data from a combination of research firms, company reports and trends in the online advertising arena.

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