Google Facts, The Search and The Long Tail

March 5, 2010

In our coverage of online advertising media yesterday, we discussed the relative importance of the different forms of online media in terms of advertising money. This yielded the following chart, which I borrowed from the excellent book by Tracy L. Tuten, Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World.

Online advertising investments - chart

Online advertising investments - chart

Tuten Advertising 2.0

Tuten Advertising 2.0

In order of importance, from most to least, we have:

1° search advertising,
2° display,
3° classified,
4° rich media,
5° lead generation,
6° email and
7° content integration.


The prevailing importance of search may come as a surprise. The moving factor behind this is the huge importance of search in our online behaviour and the sheer figures websearch represents.  This was perfectly illustrated by John Battelle in his fascinating account of the birth and rise of search in Google terms: How Google ad its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture

Battelle The Search

Battelle The Search


To give an idea of the gigantic proportions these take, I have reproduced here a massive infographic by Pingdom that literally illustrates the scope of this phenomenon.

Google facts by Pingdom

Google facts by Pingdom


I want to refer here to a must-read blog post by Jean-Marie Le Ray called Turning the Tail: from Long Tail to Big Tail on his Adscriptor Blog. It deals with the Adword economic model, in relation with the switch from a CPM to a CPC model and in light of the “long tail” concept put forward by Chris Anderson in his 2004 article, and his 2006 book. I warmly recommend reading this post carefully.

Anderson Long Tail

Anderson Long Tail

Here is some food for thought. I’d be glad to hear from you.

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