Corporate Eye

97% of Google’s Revenue Comes from Advertising

New data from a study conducted by WordStream sheds some light on how Google makes its billions and billions in revenue each year. The answer is just one thing: advertising. In fact, during the full year that spanned from the third quarter of 2010 through the second quarter of 2011, Google reported $33.3 billion in total revenue. $32.2 billion of that revenue came directly from advertising revenue.

In a great infographic created by WordStream, the top 20 most expensive keywords by industry in Google AdWords are revealed. Guess what? Nearly 50% of the most expensive keywords in Google AdWords are related to insurance, loans and mortgages. Check out the breakdown below and click the preceding link to see the complete infographic:

  1. Insurance = 24% ($54.91 top CPC)
  2. Loans = 12.8% ($44.28 top CPC))
  3. Mortgages = 9% ($47.12 top CPC)
  4. Attorney = 3.6% ($47.07 top CPC)
  5. Credit = 3.2% ($36.06 top CPC)
  6. Lawyer = 3% ($42.51 top CPC)
  7. Donate = 2.5% ($42.02 top CPC)
  8. Degree = 2.2% ($40.61 top CPC)
  9. Hosting = 2.2% ($31.91 top CPC)
  10. Claim = 1.4% ($45.51 top CPC)
  11. Conference Call = 0.9% ($42.05 top CPC)
  12. Trading = 0.8% ($33.19 top CPC)
  13. Software = 0.8% ($35.29 top CPC)
  14. Recovery = 0.7% ($42.03 top CPC)
  15. Transfer = 0.6% ($29.06 top CPC)
  16. Gas/Electricity = 0.6% ($54.62 top CPC)
  17. Classes = 0.5% ($35.04 top CPC)
  18. Rehab = 0.5% ($33.59 top CPC)
  19. Treatment = 0.3% ($37.18 top CPC)
  20. Cord Blood = 0.2% ($27.80 top CPC)

As Google expands its online presence and its share of audience time and eyes with new tools and destinations (hint – Google+), opportunities for increased advertising revenue continue to grow. Google is a brand that’s well positioned to stay strong in the near future. Of course, how the company uses all of the data that it gathers about the online audience will play an important part in the future of the brand. This is a brand that must retain its brand promise or it will suffer some serious consequences.

However, with knowledge and money comes power. Google has knowledge about a lot of people’s online habits, and Google has a lot of money. Will they use that knowledge and power for good or will it corrupt? We all know what happened to News Corp.

What do you think? How do you think the Google brand will fare when it comes to continuing to deliver on its brand promise to consumers? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about the power of the Google brand.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.