Lookout Google . . . Here Comes Amazon Search
First let’s level set this post with one important figure. In 2019 Google will garner 73% of all the search revenue in the US, for a total of $40B. Think about that for a minute – despite all the competitive attempts to dethrone Google they still bill almost 3x the rest of the Search industry combined. Talk about dominating a market!
Despite Google’s strength in the Search sector, we’re seeing early signs that Amazon is starting to gain momentum. In 2019 Amazon’s Search business will grow to $7B, which is a 30% jump over 2018. As you can see in the eMarketer graphic below, Amazon is firmly in second place albeit way behind Google for now. By 2021 Amazon’s Search share will grow from 13% this year to 16% at $11.7B, while Google’s will shrink to 70%.
Besides the eminent share shift from Google to Amazon, there’s one other important differentiator between the two. While Google is primarily an off-platform search tool to drive users to various sites and apps, all of Amazon’s search happens on platform. This means Amazon gets to control which products (their own private label vs. independent brands) are prioritized as a search result. It also allows them to run a killer attribution play, because Amazon can track search response exposure all the way through to the purchase, and then even the repurchase. This level of data and control is exactly why brands are flocking to Amazon Search, and why Google may have a problem on their hands in the next 3-5 years.