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Eye-opening Breakdown of Google's Top Advertisers

If this infographic is correct, it gives the lie to the notion that direct product search on Amazon is the biggest threat to Google's business. Yes, commercial searches do provide the bulk of Google's revenues, but those commercial searches aren't what you expect. Eye-opening.
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35 comments
 
Very interesting to say the least.  I think the ad money spent by private universities is eye opening when compared to the rest. Doesn't even cover the amount spent on organic listings either - basically risk free money when your A/R is guaranteed by the Feds
 
That's true for retail (where Amazon is the top dog), but there are 9 other sectors, some of which amazon will never play a part of.

Mobile is probably a bigger threat... though I thank you for this post as it was highly interesting in many respects!
 
Interesting analysis indeed.  One curious thing... that article cites the source (and provides it's one and only link to) the "Boston Nissan Dealers".  Why is a group of car dealerships doing and posting this kind of research and visualization?  Are they trying to drive clicks to their site?  
After digging a little, this looks like the original source of the graphic: 
http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/01/23/google-revenues
Does anyone know wordstream, and how trustworthy they are?
 
wow, that infoporn is...off-putting.  Terrible at succinctly conveying what are some relatively straightforward data, to say the least.

as for the actual conclusions, I agree with +Burt Gordon - the price for "accredited online college degrees" click-through (~$35) is about the most disturbing element of that mess. Though, "self employed health insurance" is comparably fraught - at least I understand why the demand for that one is so high (~$43).
 
Yup, I thought the "Amazon is Google's biggest threat" meme was a bit bogus.  Now, the AWS infrastructure is a behemoth to behold that might be possible to capitalize on even better than it already is.
 
So Amazon is spending on Google to lure them away to their own search engine. Smart.
 
This seems very US-centric.  Is this just US revenues, or does Google really not derive much income from the rest of the world?
 
Well, now that people have pointed it out, Google will be addressing that.

+Andrew Pam: Yes, reading a lot of tech news, most of it is US-centric...like how the Kindle Fire is supposed to be chewing Android's lunch.
 
This is a great Infograph! Most users do not seem to realize the revenue model behind Google's advertising platform and believe they profit mostly from their  'other areas'..it is ad space.. pretty much like TV broadcasters and billboards the big guys are doing it right..but hey, at least I'm not wasting my precious time looking at irrelevant ads!
By releasing this infographic +WordStream  totally nails it since they offer search marketing/advertising optimization services...
 
Where is innovation@Google? So many projects undertaken at Google, but they have not been able to generate any significant revenues over last 10/15 years!

Just 4% of Google revenue came from non-Advertising-related sources! In other words, whopping 96% revenues came from their core advertising business that probably employs 10-20% of their total workforce - most other Google employees are taking paycheck home for nothing! I am not saying this, numbers speak loud and clear.

Well, not exactly - On second thought, I stand corrected.... these other employees go to Google offices, sit on bean bags, play games of ping pongs and billiards, have free lunch and dinners, borrow company's cars, work couple hours a day, and as a reward for doing all these favors to Google shareholders, they take their paycheck home; so we can't say that they take their paycheck home for nothing. Isn't this how socialist societies function too - distribution of wealth? ;-|
 
+Ketan Kakkad Google without all those employees "sitting on bean bags" would be like television without any programming.  Think about it a little harder: something has to make people willing to see the ads.  
 
My Google stock is going just fine, none-the-less..
 
+John Burak +Cliff Wells
I know, I know I was a little too harsh in me making fun of those Googlers! May be a little jealous too? However, I agree with both of you that many Google employees are working hard! I was making fun of the fact that only 4% of revenues are being generated from everything else within Google-sphere! So many projects have come and gone in Google labs and many projects remained in 'beta' status for years and very little to show for it! With Google kind of resources, what is that they cannot achieve if they really set their hearts and minds to it? If you think about it, how many companies really can survive on innovative projects that never generate any revenue or contribute to the bottom line - project after project, for more than a decade? That's the basic point I wanted to emphasize on.

Why Google should be concerned about it? Well, look at the recent history - Palm Pilots once roamed the earth and now they have gone the way of Dinosours, Microsoft I.E. ruled the market and now its barely hanging on there as long as older generations refuse to adopt a new browser platform, our beloved Blackberry may not survive another 5 years, if then! And lets not forget to what happened to Yahoo, AltaVista and many others! So, it's great that Google is making the amount of money they are making but there are no guarantees that there won't be any tectonic shifts in the future to disrupt current equilibrium.

And finally, I cannot find a reference to it right now (even googling didn't help) but I remember reading about Larry Page being concerned about their inability to develop new revenue streams (not in those exact words). Hence my satire that upset some readers. It was meant to be a fun post! Cheers :-)
 
link is now unavailable, they must have gotten a cease and desist or got caught in propaganda
 
+Ketan Kakkad how do you think other projects should appear in earnings? Like gmail, does google ask for money of gmail users? Yes for business and additional storage space, but how about (duh!) adds? How many gmail users will switch to other search engines if they use gmail everyday? How many of google apps and google engine users will do? Now maybe you can grasp why google has all that projects and not going to become next altavista.
 
What bugs me is why would a company spend so much on ad words.
Are they that efficient to spend millions a year for???
 
Agree with +Andrew Pam , very US centric. I've never seen most of the financial, educational and retail advertisers in the UK. There's got to be a good chunk missing here.
 
+Ketan Kakkad Android is something other companies would charge for. Somehow Google doesn't want to. It's an intentional concept, and they are not sailing bad with it.
 
The other departments do generate significant revenue, but it's factored into the advertising figures.

It would also be unfair to say that Google does all of these other things just to have a way to deliver ads though. For those who remember, they developed search first, and then turned to creating an advertising model to fund it. The sheer tons of cash they get from ads lets them work on all the other tech that interests them without worrying about whether each product is immediately profitable.
 
+Daniel McClung +Thames Sinclair +Yaroslav Lapin
I understand all your perspectives. As explained in my second comment in this thread (not sure how to link to it but you will see it when you expand comments) I would like to caution Google-sphere in general against becoming overly complacent just because search and advertising business is generating a boat-load of cash!

If you are familiar with the early days of how Google got started (first five years or so - I have read a lot) and how hard those Googler's worked (250 hours a month) as compared to many joining Google today who expect all those "bean bag benefits" to be their birth right! If you look at Palm or RIMM or even Yahoo, don't you ever wonder how in the world can they screw things up so bad that they fall off the cliff? My guess is that at some point, all their management and employees wanted to "bask-in-the-sun" and forgot how they got there. I can't even imagine something like that happening to Google, but precaution is almost always the best remedy.

I have no problem with Google employees indulging (how can I?) but for sure I see those other failures I mentioned and hope that Googlers don't fall asleep at the driving wheel! When I looked at the info-graph and learned that only 4% of their revenues are from non-Ad sources, at first I was in disbelief! My impression was that this split was more like 80% - 20%, not 96% - 4%!
 
+Ketan Kakkad I think there's no way for you to understand that 96% includes efforts done by teams other that ads & search, fact that this figure includes all the money that google gains by working in other areas like gmail, g+ and so on, not the www.google.com alone!
4 vs. 96 doesn't represent balance between work hours of google's teams, it just says that going with ads is easiest way of monetizing services like gmail. No one will pay money for e-mail these days, but everyone seems to accept idea of seeing ads (even better when they are targeted). Who do you think works on getting gmail ads appear in context? Ads team or gmail team? Or both? Why do you give all credentials (and money) to ads team in this case?
 
Info graphics are notoriously unreliable, period. 
 
@dominick: An infographic on the accuracy of infographics (or lack thereof) would be hilarious.
 
+Larry Kim Hahaha! Where were you my friend when I got beat up for commenting on 96%-4% split over last 24 hours? Specifically for saying that may be 10-20% of Googlers are resulting in 96% of direct revenue and probably 80% of them are resulting in 4% of Google's total revenue :-)

Thank you for your wonderful analysis and sharing infographic with all of us. And a special thank you for coming to rescue me and clarifying the 4% part - that this 4% revenue is very likely from the interest on their piles of money. If I understand correctly, besides search+Ad revenues almost everything else in Google-sphere has no direct-revenue model (even when it may indirectly contribute to the search+Ad revenues through "freemium" model)!

I am a technologist with Fortune 500 technology management experience and now founder of a bootstrapped startup with very limited resources but lofty goals! We work on shoestring budgets but are still able to deliver innovative solutions. So when I read your piece I could not comprehend how such a "distribution of wealth" - i.e. tens of thousands of employees, almost fairytale level of employee benefits, hundreds of projects with very little direct revenue to show for it - could occur in an otherwise capitalist society? Again, I will emphasize that I understand that there are many smart and hardworking Googlers who make things happen, but probably many more are there to taste the honey in the honeypot!

I totally understand that when you have oodles and oodles of cash in  your coffers and continue to earn a boat load of money each quarter, you have pretty much earned the right to blow it however you like it! I just read today that Google scored highest in employee satisfaction among all companies so definitely they are treating their employees well through what I call the "bean bag benefits". But if I were +Larry Page, I would definitely remind my employees to take a lesson from the likes of Palm, RIMM, Yahoo, Apple-of-80s among others that while enjoying good times, do not forget that tech industry is brutal and the equilibrium shift can happen within matter of years!

Finally, I believe that with Google-kind of resources, they have the potential to develop many more innovative solutions, and truly hope that they continue to do so!
 
Wow! Awesome link. Definitely something to come back to when analyzing googles business decisions.
 
In the retailer section, The top 5 don't add up to more than 200million in most cases, yet they list 2.8billion in revenue.  Is this the long tail in effect?
 
+Larry Kim Thanks for the clarification, there is a lot of data on the graphic. I'll take another look.
 
+Mick O'Dwyer, your link to biggest ad spenders doesn't seem to load (either the link, or the source on kissmetrics). I wonder if its an O'Reilly effect.
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