Google was right to go strongly for online advertising, as the data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau shows. 2007 was the first time ever when the advertising revenue exceeded $21 billion, but that is nothing out of the ordinary. It was only natural for that to happen, seeing that the annual growth was always in the 20-30-something percentages, compared to the previous years.
The big picture painted is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. With the Internet representing less than 10 percent of the entire U.S. ad spending, there's
a lot more where that came from. On the other side, the percentage of the increase on a per-year basis is decreasing, from a little below 35% in 2006 compared to 2005, 2007 recorded only a 25% increase. The ad revenue is growing, but the rate will be slower and slower every year.
Due to the continuous growth, every quarter is pretty surely going to top the previous one. That has been the case with the last two fiscal quarters measured, the record breaking (at the time) Q3 had a tidy 5.2 billion dollars behind it, but was 7 billion less than Q4, according to numbers from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The final figures and a more in-depth analysis will most likely be available by May. By a well established tradition, the most lucrative are keyword adverts, like those displayed next to the search results by Google or Yahoo!.
The online advertising continually grabs the money that in the past went to more traditional media like newspapers. Interestingly enough, the Mountain View-based company is trying to expand into that area as well. Google is planning to deliver 2D printed barcodes in the newspapers, to be scanned with some software installed on the reader's phones and then uploaded to get the ad the respective image is associated with.