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Search Helps Drive Q1 Internet Advertising to Record $7.3 Billion

Danny Goodwin
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Online advertising hit a new high of $7.3 billion in Q1 2011 – a 23 percent increase over Q1 2010 and the highest Q1 revenue level ever, according to new data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This follows last year’s record-breaking first half, in which advertisers spent $12.1 billion. Annual 2010 revenue reached $26.04 billion, a 15 percent increase from 2009, also a new high.

The IAB released this chart highlighting quarterly ad revenue growth in billions since 1999:

Online Ad Revenue Growth Q1 2011

The IAB only issues a full reports for half-year and full-year data, so there aren’t exact details on the exact amount search accounted for in Q1. However, looking at their 2010 report (PDF), search likely accounted for about 46 percent of revenue, or roughly $3.4 billion.

IAB Advertising Revenue 2010

For all of 2010, search advertising accounted for 46 percent of online advertising ($12 billion), down from 47 percent in 2009. Though search’s piece of the pie was down due to strong gains in display advertising, search revenue grew to $12 billion in 2010 from $10.7 billion in 2009.

Similarly, in Q4 2010, search revenues accounted for 45 percent of revenues, down from 47 percent in Q4 2009, but revenues grew 14 percent to $3.3 billion in 2010 from $2.9 billion in 2009.


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