Ad Battlefield: Google Is King Now, But Facebook Is The Future Ruler


Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is currently the most successful company in mobile ad monetization, according to an unofficial survey conducted by Wedbush Equity research. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), on the other hand, holds the lion’s share for the future, if the social networking giant’s ad exchange, dubbed Facebook Ad exchange (FBX) is to achieve its full potential.

The world is becoming more digital every single day, with print adverts facing the wrath of digitalization. Additionally, mobile technology is becoming more popular, slowly replacing the dot com era, which was largely symbolized by the use of personal computers. The use of iPads is replacing computer desktops and laptops, while smartphones are becoming smarter with every single refresh. This has prompted the emergence of a paradigm shift in advertising.

Ad Battlefield: Google Is King Now, But Facebook Is The Future Ruler

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Wedbush equity research analysts believe that the shift to mobile platforms is helping Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) more than its competitors. Reports suggest that about 30% of search is now done via mobile platforms, as opposed to desktops, and Google’s newsfeed, design Ad platform, is claiming all the plaudits. The company has been able to monetize through this platform, and it has also been incredibly affordable for the advertisers.

Nonetheless, the analysts believe that the milestone gained by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) could be at risk, as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s new strategies could begin paying off in the near future. Facebook’s ad exchange, which does not necessarily have to use its own platform, could be the next big thing in Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Wedbush estimates that, about 10% of SEM budgets could easily be lured to Facebook’s ad exchange network.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has continuously struggled to gain traction in traffic monetization, a goal that, if it successfully managed to achieve, then it would probably be among the very top, in terms of company valuation. Facebook has not been able to utilize well the limited screen of mobile platforms with ads, as compared to Google’s newsfeed, designed ads platform.

Furthermore, the social network giant is not looking to follow Google’s footsteps and come up with a newsfeed-like, ad platform. Mark Zuckerberg revealed recently that he wants Facebook’s search engine to be unique.

According to the survey conducted by Wedbush, on media channels advertising outlook for 2012 growth; digital, TV, and print, remained unchanged, according to opinions of two thirds of the population; while one third perceived a slowdown in the three platforms, as compared to their previous outlook three months ago.

The survey also revealed that mobile and social platforms were the biggest gainers, with print losing out significantly. The two, gained popularity by 27% and 24% respectively, while digital was up 12%. Print on the other hand lost 57%, while TV and Search were down 16% and 13% respectively.

Wedbush expects Google search ad growth to hit 21% in 2012, while mobile ads growth rate was rated as exceptional. Video followed closely at 75%, while digital ranked third with 30%. On the other hand, TV is expected to grow by about 4-5%.

Wedbush also established that social networks are laying the groundwork for brand building, with a keen focus on Facebook’s ad exchange, which is noted to have caught the eyes of some big marketers, including Datalogix. Facebook’s ad exchange could help such advertisers overcome the challenges faced in distinguishing the impact of social signals from background TV campaigns, and lack of A/B testing.

This is a clear framework for Facebook’s Inc (NASDAQ:FB) potential, and the analysts have gone on to subsequently rate the company’s stock as overperform, with a price target of $35, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock is rated as neutral, with a price target of $640.

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