Just Look At How Google Dominates Ad Tech

Rate New Data Shows Just How Big Google's Ad-Tech Advantage Really Is

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In ad-tech, there's Google and then there's everyone else.

The search giant and owner of DoubleClick is far and away the biggest player in the ad-tech industry. Google served over 300 billion ad impressions in September, according to data from Evidon obtained by Ad Age, a massive number putting it ahead of its next nearest competitor, OpenX, by over 200 billion monthly ad impressions.

The index provides a rare look into just how dominant Google position in ad-tech really is. The company is often spoken of as the industry's largest player but does not release impression data and declined to comment for this story. The Evidon numbers though -- collected from sites visited by the over 10 million users of its Ghostery browser extension's GhostRank panel -- provide a telling sample of data.

"I think those numbers are directionally accurate give or take a small margin of error," said OpenX CRO Jason Fairchild in an interview with Ad Age, confirming Evidon's read on his company.

Google showed up in three out of the top 12 spots on Evidon's index: DoubleClick took the top spot with over 229 billion impressions served in September. Google AdSense registered over 59 billion. And DoubleClick Bid Manager, Google's demand side platform, served over 27 billion.

"We try not to focus on how big the elephant is. We take one bite at a time," said Mr. Fairchild when asked how OpenX could compete with a market leader as dominant as Google. "When we started in display, Google was pretty entrenched," he said. "We don't see that to be the case in mobile or cross screen," he added, listing places where Google's competitors might see success.

The numbers are not meant to reflect distinct ad counts. Rather, as multiple tags can fire on each ad, the counts reflect the number of times each company's tags fire even if a single ad contained muliple tags on it. But it shows that Google serves a whole lot of impressions, and its ad technologies mediate much of the ad-supported web.

AppNexus and Rubicon tags rounded out the top five, firing 73 billion and 46 billion times in September respectively. The data does not include 24/7 Media's Open AdStream because the data sits on publisher sites that use the ad server.

The numbers do not vary much month to month, an Evidon spokesman said.

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