Google set to overtake Facebook as new leader in US display ads

City A.M. Reporter
GOOGLE is set to become the biggest earner in US display ads this year, taking the number one rank away from Facebook and cementing its dominant presence in online advertising.

Google’s rising clout in display ads – the boxes with images and video found on websites – has come on the back of growth in video advertising on its YouTube subsidiary, as well as mobile advertising through Admob, a company acquired by Google in 2009.

This year, Google will claim 15.4 per cent of display ad dollars, or $2.31bn, compared to Facebook’s 14.4 per cent, or $2.16bn, according to projections by eMarketer, a digital advertising research firm.

But it added that publishers across the board have been bruised by weaker-than-expected display advertising demand this year as large brands withheld splurging on costly digital campaigns.

Top display ad earners Google and Facebook were followed by Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, which all have advertising networks across their digital content properties.

Meanwhile, Facebook said it will start charging businesses to run Offers on its social network, turning a previously free service into a potential revenue generator at a time when Wall Street is demanding new sources of growth and profit from the company.
Facebook launched Facebook Offers earlier this year, letting retailers and other local merchants send deals to their Facebook fans. Users claim the offers from their News Feeds and redeem the vouchers at stores to get discounts.

The service has been free, but in coming weeks Facebook will require merchants to pay at least $5 on related ads to promote each Facebook Offer to a targeted audience of fans and friends of fans. The cost will vary based on the size of a company's Facebook pages.