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Google pips Facebook to top ad revenues chart

Google once again tops the charts, this time in US display advertising revenues.

According to data from eMarketer, the search giant carries 15.4 per cent of the market, which puts it ahead of Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

With an expected $2.31 billion (£1.42 billion) in ad revenue this year, Google is up 38.5 per cent from 2011. But competitor Facebook will likely take home $2.16 billion (£1.33 billion), more than 24 per cent higher than last year, eMarketer reported.

Facebook inched into first place last year, with 14.1 per cent, compared to Google's 13.5, but eMarketer predicted that Google will remain in first through 2014.

Yahoo is expected to capture 9.3 per cent of total display ad revenues this year, while Microsoft and AOL will secure less than 5 per cent of the total share. "These three companies will decrease in share as Google and Facebook expand," eMarketer said.

Driven heavily by competition, 2012's total display ad revenue will grow 21.5 per cent to almost $15 billion (£9.2 billion), which eMarketer chalks up to the healthy life of banner ads, as well as increased spending on digital video advertising.

Google-owned YouTube contributes heavily to the network's market leadership, though Facebook's own decline in ad revenues could have given Google an added push. Still, both companies are holding strong, making higher gains than any of the other major display sellers eMarketer studied.

By the end of 2014, Yahoo is expected to carry only 7 per cent of the total market share, well above Microsoft's 4 per cent, or AOL's 2.7. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook combined will make up more than 35 per cent of the total USdigital display ad revenue within two years.

EMarketer based its estimates on reported revenues from company releases, estimates from other research firms, usage trends at major ad publishers, and interview with ad executives and figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In other advertising news, Facebook this week began testing a beta version of its own mobile ad network. As reported by TechCrunch, advertisers will be able to target users based on the data – age, gender, location, Likes, and friends – collected while you use other apps and mobile sites.