Google’s share of the Internet ad market has risen almost 10 percent in the last five years, from 34.9 percent in 2006 to 44.1 percent in 2010, making it the undisputed Goliath in online advertising. Google also dominates global search, accounting for 85 percent of all searches as their three main competitors, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL, have slipped to just a 13.8 percent share combined, according to advertising and communications firm ZenithOptimedia. As Google continues to grow, thanks to acquisitions like DoubleClick and YouTube, Facebook has also increased their market share, though it is more at the expense of companies like Microsoft and AOL. Facebook’s 0.6 percent 2006 market share had grown to 3.1 percent in 2010; ZenithOptimedia expects they will surpass Microsoft by the end of this year. They doubled AOL during 2010. In times of persistent economic uncertainty, it wouldn’t be difficult to take a pessimistic view in predicting expenditures in the coming year and beyond. Yet despite the European slowdown and the very real possibility of further debt crisis, ZenithOptimedia predicts sustained growth in global ad spend, at least until 2014. They credit the quadrennial effect – events occurring every four years – as growth drivers in…
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