In May, TechCrunch reported that Facebook accounts for 33% of all ad impressions displayed in the United States. No single web property even comes close—Yahoo was second, with only a 10% stake in the display game. Facebook served more than 340 billion ad impressions in the first quarter alone. And considering the social network's total revenue for the first half of 2011 was estimated at $1.6 Billion, advertising sales make up a massive 89% of its cash intake.
Last week, Citi released the findings from its third quarter search marketing trends call, a conversation of panelists discussing everything from Google's dominant market share (80 - 81% of total spend) to the current landscape of search advertising at large. While the Citi analysts are not seeing such a high demand for search targeting in the social sector, there is a clear interest in how search marketing will play out on Facebook.
The Citi panelists noted that the amount marketers spend on Facebook is only 5% of what they spend on search ads. And though they forecast this number to increase in the future, the key takeaway is that while Facebook’s (and Google’s) ad-spend currently eats up massive shares from traditional ad buckets—including banner, branding, and display from the previous kings of the game, Yahoo and AOL—search dollars are fairly stable and consistently growing.
My Take: The fact that Facebook is not chipping away at the massive search market is a clear indication of how strong our industry is. Search is a complicated game, reserved for the few players who can maintain incredible relationships with the best publishers and advertisers while harnessing sophisticated technology to achieve the best performance goals