Google tipped to overtake Yahoo in display advertising

SINGAPORE - Search giant Google is tipped to overtake Yahoo to become king of display advertising by the end of the year, said specialist search and social marketing agency Greenlight.

Greenlight explained its reasoning as Google having had a productive 2011, with the company having acquiring Invite Media and Teracent and launched its DoubleClick Search V3 platform (DS3).

DS3 is a bid management programme which combines Yahoo and MSN into an AdWords type interface. Through this, Greenlight said, Google has created a one-stop-shop for advertisers.

"Google's noteworthy acquisitions and investments in 2011, combined with the mighty AdWords, suggest that by the end of 2012, not only will 90 per cent of advertisers' Search budgets be in AdWords, but also that this trend is set for display," said Hannah Kimuyu, Paid Media Director of Greenlight.

Greenlight also predicted that this year, social link building will be big on marketers' minds.

Adam Bunn, SEO Director at Greenlight, attributed this to the "confluence" of user signals influencing search engines' perception of brand strength and everyone being on the "social media helps us build links" bandwagon.

What users search for can tell search engines about the strength of a brand, because the strength of the brand directly influences those searches, he explained.

As such, Bunn argued that at present, social media is the best means of influencing brand perception online.

At the same time, more and more marketers are cottoning on to the fact that social media can dramatically catalyse search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns.

This can be achieved by increasing the speed of accrual and the volume of natural links pointing to a site.

Greenlight also said in 2012, social media sites will take on a multi-faceted identity

According to Anna O'Brien, Social Media Director of Greenlight, social media currently does not support the range of different relationships and personalities consumers have.

While sites like Reddit and 4chan appeal to users who wish to share information cloaked in anonymity, Facebook provides a mass audience live feed.

However, while these sites thrive, they live at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Greenlight predicted that these mainstream sites will evolve to allow the user to become more multi-faceted.

yamadak@sph.com.sg