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How Google made its ad money in 2011 [Infographic]

When Google released its 2011 financial results, general consensus was that the internet giant had performed worse than expected. Thing is, disappointing for Google and disappointing for any other company are two very different things.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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Google still managed, after all, to bring in a whopping US$37.9-billion in ad revenue. US-based Pay Per Click (PPC) company Wordstream decided to take a deeper look into what industries made up the bulk of that revenue.

Google doesn’t generally release the kind of information contained in Wordstream’s infographic, so it conducted all of its own research.

According Wordstream’s Larry Kim, the revenue estimates shown in the infographic were compiled using the company’s “trillion-keyword database and the Google Keyword Tool to determine the top 10-million most popular search queries in 2011, as well as their average cost per click prices as paid by advertisers”.

The keyword list was then categorised by industry, after which a “model that weighed the relative percentages of each industry’s revenue” was applied. The top five advertisers in each industry, meanwhile, were “obtained by using data from SpyFu.com, then applying the same categorization analysis”.

Perhaps the most intriguing observations to be taken from the infographic is the fact that a number of the biggest advertisers are businesses that sell to individual customers. “Amazon alone spent over $55 million on PPC ads in 2011, and that’s just what they spent on AdWords”, says Kim.

What Industries Contributed to Google's Billion in Revenues? [INFOGRAPHIC]

© 2012 WordStream, a Provider of AdWords and PPC Management Software.