Google report details publisher trends in display ad business

As report after report shows us, Google controls nearly half of the global online advertising market. So you can imagine that it has reams of data from which to extract insights.

To give publishers a window into those vast stores of data, the tech giant today released the first of what it says will be a series of publications that mine information collected from across its display advertising properties, including DoubleClick for publishers, the DoubleClick ad exchange and the Google adsense network.

Using data sets containing tens of billions of impressions served by publishers around the world, the report ranks content verticals by ad impressions and CPM. It also looks at trends in mobile Web and video ad impressions, as well as geographic patterns.

For example, Google found that, in 2011, Arts & Entertainment was the top vertical in monetized impressions across AdSense and the Ad Exchange, followed by Online Communities and Games. However, Shopping, Sports and Auto & Vehicle sites were among the verticals to experience the fastest year-on-year growth. Despite its high impression ranking, Online Communities saw a double-digit decline, as did the Business & Industrial and Reference verticals.

Looking at content verticals by CPM (defined by Google as the amount a publisher earns for delivering a thousand impressions through a single ad unit), Google found that Health came out on top, followed by Business & Industrial and Jobs & Education.

As for mobile Web impressions, Google said publishers in all verticals except travel saw double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2011. The strongest vertical in mobile usage was Shopping, followed by Food & Drink and People & Society.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Indicating the boom in mobile, Google said mobile web impressions on the Ad Exchange and AdSense platforms climbed 250 percent from the third to  fourth quarter in 2011.
  • Video is also growing, with video ad impressions increasing almost 70 percent across the Doublelick for publishers platform, between the third and fourth quarters of 2011
  • North America and Western Europe continue to be “powerhouses” of online content. But some smaller pockets of the world are posting very high growth rates in ad impressions, including Palau (1106 percent), Equatorial Guinea (4635 percent) and Laos (382 percent). The United States has the highest percentage of ad impressions (24.7 percent), followed by China (10.5 percent) and Japan (5.7 percent).

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