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Search advertising in the United States - statistics & facts

Search engines have become one of the most powerful tools on the internet and an essential part of modern life. Around 30 percent of global web traffic is generated via online search, and as millions of shoppers flock to websites such as Google for product research every day, companies have started to integrate online search campaigns into their digital marketing mix. Ads shown on search result pages are explicitly targeted to keywords entered by consumers, which gives them a high conversion probability and makes search advertising a highly effective marketing method. In 2021, search advertising spending in the United States amounted to 84.7 billion U.S. dollars, while spending on mobile search advertising continues to accelerate as consumers shop on their smartphones more vigorously than ever.

Google dominates the search advertising landscape

Google is not only the leading search engine worldwide but also one of today’s most profitable digital ad sellers. Advertising on Google has become a staple marketing practice for companies from many different industries, as ranking high on the market leader’s result page can increase brand exposure, drive traffic, and ultimately boost sales. In the United States, where Google’s search market share stands at over 62 percent, the company accounts for roughly 30 percent of digital ad revenue, making it the leading online advertising platform nationwide. Paid search advertising spending on Google has seen monthly double-digit growth since the beginning of 2021, with ad spend on retail search campaigns increasing particularly fast amidst the pandemic.

Amazon’s advertising business

Amazon is one of the leading advertisers in the United States, holding almost 90 percent of the country’s retail media ad spend. In 2021, the e-retail giant accounted for 19 percent of U.S. search advertising spending, and considering the company’s impressive e-commerce sales and user count, it comes as no surprise that Amazon itself has become a highly popular advertising destination. In 2021, Amazon’s U.S. ad revenue exceeded 24 billion U.S. dollars, and according to the latest projections, this figure will reach 39 billion in 2023. The lion’s share of Amazon's digital ad revenue is generated via search advertising for sponsored brands and product listings, as companies of all sizes have come to value the benefits of promoting their products on the platform. Auto insurance giant Geico was the largest advertiser on Amazon in the U.S., followed by telecommunications conglomerate Comcast Corporation. Shoppers who search for items on the website or app are generally looking to make a purchase, and seeing that consumers choose Amazon over brick-and-mortar stores more frequently than ever, marketers are unlikely to search for Amazon advertising alternatives anytime soon.

Marketer and consumer perspectives

On-site search ads have proven to be a hit among U.S. consumer goods advertisers, due to their being the most popular ad format purchased via retail media networks. The popularity of search ads has also been aided by a consistently elevated U.S. consumer satisfaction with online search engines. Given the American consumers' contentment with both online search engines and e-commerce platforms, it comes as no surprise that more than half of U.S. consumers reckoned it to be fair for an e-commerce platform to place its own branded products in search results and ads, provided that the placement was fully disclosed.

Interesting statistics

In the following 8 chapters, you will quickly find the 42 most important statistics relating to "Search advertising in the U.S.".


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