Forecast: Google To Lose $1.4B In PC Revs As Search Shifts To Mobile

A forecast just released by eMarketer argues that Google will lose $1.4 billion in PC search revenue in 2014 as paid clicks partly migrate to mobile devices, where revenue per click has been lower. Some of that PC revenue decline will be offset by growth in mobile paid clicks.

Some marketers to date have actively discounted their paid mobile clicks on Google enhanced campaigns. Below is the full eMarketer US spending forecast by advertising channel.

emarketer 2014 prediction

The forecast notes that in 2013, just over 76 percent of Google’s paid search revenues came from the PC. This year that number is expected to fall roughly 10 points to 66 percent (partly based on mobile growth). Mobile search revenue will grow to $1.76 billion in 2014 eMarketer estimates.

Mobile search will represent nearly 27 percent of total Google ad revenue in 2014 according to eMarketer, which is an increase from 19.4 percent in 2013.

Google revenue 2013

The graphic above is Google’s balance statement from its year end report in 2013. It shows revenue (including Motorola Mobility) of nearly $60 billion globally.

Emarketer estimates that mobile search revenue growth will be 82 percent this year, basically tracking the segment as a whole. However the firm likely underestimates the growth in mobile revenues in 2014 while over-estimating the negative impact of mobile search growth on Google PC revenues.

While there is some shifting of query volume to mobile in certain categories (e.g., restaurants) the overall query pie has likely grown. Google’s “ownership” of the Android platform ensures healthy mobile search growth among users of the world’s most popular mobile OS.

It’s also true that some percentage of search volume that might otherwise be carried out on Google in a PC context has shifted to specific apps directly, cutting out Google’s historical role as PC content gatekeeper.