Google’s Icarus moment

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Google’s Icarus moment

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Google’s Icarus moment
­­­­Google’s advertising business has begun losing market share in the US, with competition from Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft intensifying in search and display
In response, the company is redoubling efforts to reshape its apps, services, and the entire web for more efficient monetisation, spelling uncertainty for partners and users
The adaptability and complexity of Google’s services reduce business risk from targeted regulatory measures, but increase the pressure for a radical intervention


Google and its challengers

  • No longer invincible
  • Google users will stomach a higher ad load

Google’s response: overhauling the ad business

  • New display ad units focus on ecommerce
  • Programmatic and ad network overhaul consolidates control

Impact on publishers

  • Dependence on Google’s services will grow
  • A growing control over page design and content discovery

Impact on consumers & open questions for regulation

  • Users can easily perceive the benefits, but not the problems
  • Google’s answer to privacy concerns: technology
  • Google’s regulatory Jenga and its risks

List of charts/tables

Figure 1. US online advertising market share by company

Figure 2. YoY change in US search ad spend by format (%)

Figure 3. US monthly app users by Google product (m)

Figure 4. New ad formats, left to right: Showcase, Gallery and Discovery

Figure 5. Upcoming ad product improvements & launches by Google service

Figure 6. Google ad revenue by segment ($m)

Figure 7. Share of Google search result page link clicks by type (%)

Figure 8. Share of US publisher referral traffic by platform* (%)

Figure 9. Google search result page with unattributed information