Nielsen//NetRatings has released a report that sponsored link advertising on Google and Yahoo! has grown 16 percent in six months from 55.4 billion to 64.3 billion between August 2005 and January 2006. This data accounts for sponsored link impressions on the Yahoo! and Google websites as well as their respective search and contextual advertising networks.
In a press release from Nielsen//NetRatings, Ken Cassar, chief analyst for the research group said, “Despite the overwhelming market share that Google and Yahoo! search enjoy, they continue to see strong growth in the volume of sponsored links. While Google, in particular, seeks to diversify its revenue, it is a positive sign that its core search advertising business remains robust.”
Although Google had more sponsored link impressions than Yahoo! in January, Yahoo! is catching up to its competitor. During the past six months, Yahoo’s sponsored links have grown 21 percent to 23.2 billion, while Google’s sponsored links have grown 14 percent to 41.1 billion. eBay’s Shopping.com , the primary sponsored link advertiser for both Google and Yahoo!, contributed to the growth in sponsored links for both sites. Cassar agreed, “E-commerce advertisers, eBay chief among them, represent the top advertisers on both Yahoo! and Google. It is becoming increasingly clear that sponsored link advertising is a necessary cost of doing business for e-commerce companies.”