Here's The List Of Google's Biggest Advertisers

google t shirt advertising

Photo: Jinho.Jung / Flickr, CC

Google’s revenues were $37.9 billion last year and 96 per cent of that came from advertising. It’s less clear, however, who Google’s biggest advertisers are.

Search engine marketing company Wordstream has compiled a database of information on Google’s advertisers based on its trillion-keyword database and its Google Keyword Tool. It determined the top 10 million search queries of 2011, as well as their average cost-per-click prices as paid by advertisers who bought space next to those results.

The company then, naturally, made an infographic to display its results.

Google’s biggest advertiser is Lowe’s, the home improvement chain, which spent $59.1 million on ads with the search engine last year.

Its second biggest is Amazon, which spent $55.2 million.

The Top 10 industry categories

Google's top category of advertisers is finance and insurers

Interestingly, that dovetails with Facebook. The finance sector also dominates the social network's non-game ad revenue.

Google gets $43.39 per click for searches related to 'self-employed health insurance.'

Google and Amazon are the best of frenemies

Amazon is one of Google's biggest advertising clients, which is awkward for Google because there's some evidence that more people are turning directly to Amazon for their web shopping needs rather than searching first in Google.

If that were true, it would mean that the more Amazon spends advertising on Google, and the more successful that advertising is, the more shopping traffic it will eventually steal from Google.

What the heck is

Yes, the University of Phoenix is everywhere

It's not just you. Everyone else sees ads for the online school all the time as well.

Hello, Lighting Universe!

The biggest four home improvement advertisers on this list aren't too surprising. But who knew lamp specialist Lighting Universe was such a big deal on Google?

Lowe's purchase of LU in December now makes a lot more sense.

No surprises here

Computer makers advertise a lot on the internet.

Note that Apple and Microsoft -- two companies that compete against Google in a number of different ways (i.e. in email and mobile devices) -- are also spending millions to be inside Google's environment.

Car sales sites are more important than car company sites

This chart says something interesting about how people buy cars: Three of the top five auto advertisers are not automaker brands. Firestone is a tire brand. Only Chevrolet actually makes cars.

AT&T hugely outspends its rivals

Ma Bell's adspend is nearly twice that of Verizon, its nearest competitor on Google.

Uline really is that big!

Most people have never heard of Uline, but if you're an office manager you'll already be drooling at the thought of its fat new workplace supplies catalogue landing on your desk. Uline sells everything from paperclips to forklift hand trucks.

A huge part of Google's business is ... flowers?

Wow. Four of the top five gift category advertisers are flower delivery services. Don't underestimate the power of weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs.

Now check out how Vanity Fair's ad pages predict the stock market ...

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