Google Bests Yahoo in Display

Builds market share via sales to small, medium-size businesses

For 16 years, Yahoo has quietly maintained its position as the No. 1 player in display advertising, thanks in part to big deals with big brands. That is, until this week, when Google took the lead.

In the first quarter, Google Display Network’s revenue share surged to 14.7 percent, besting Yahoo by 2.4 percent, according to a IDC. The jump is driven by Google’s push toward small and medium-size company display buys, IDC reports. Meaning Google and Yahoo (which has always been stronger with the big brands) aren't directly competing for display revenue . . . yet. The businesses Google has picked up are already clients of its search advertising; they’re increasingly diving into display ads as well.  

Growth in display continues to outpace search—this quarter display comprised 33 percent of digital ad spend, up from 29 percent two years ago. Search, meanwhile, declined, making up 48.7 percent of the market share, down from 53.4 percent two years ago.

Meanwhile, Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that Internet advertising revenues hit $7.3 billion in Q1, a 23 percent increase over the first quarter last year.

IDC reported that worldwide online ad spending in Q1 was $18.2 billion, a 14.3 percent increase.