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How Facebook Is Eroding Google's Dominance in Online Advertising

Stocks in this article: FB GOOGL TWTR P

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) is a seasoned company by Silicon Valley standards, so its growth in advertising market share over its relatively short life is easily taken for granted. The little Harvard side-project is not only competing with tech titan Google (GOOGL) for online advertising dollars, it's gaining ground.

Facebook's secret weapon is mobile advertising, a market that is expected to grow 75% globally to nearly $32 billion this year, according to eMarketer estimates. With an influx of cash flooding online advertising, Facebook is managing to snap up the growth at a far greater pace than Google.

While Google still receives the majority of global mobile ad revenue at around half the total, its supremacy is slipping. By the end of 2014, eMarketer expects its mobile market share to fall to 46.8% from 52.6% two years earlier. Over the same period of time, Facebook is expected to accelerate its mobile ad revenue share to 21.7% from 5.4%., with its growth primarily at the expense of Google with very little change in share seen from other players such as Twitter  (TWTR) and Pandora  (P) .

Read More: Why Facebook and Twitter Continue to Get Bigger

Of course, this isn't to suggest Google is at risk of losing its heft. In the 10 years since its IPO, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has increased total revenue 21 times to $66.7 billion, while advancing its revenue share of global Internet advertising revenue to 32% from 15%. That's even as its reliance on advertising was reduced to 90% from 98.6% as the company diversified into hardware offerings such as smartphones and wearable tech.

But Facebook is still making an impression, already eclipsing Google in total display advertising in the U.S. eMarketer (which tallies desktop and mobile display ad revenue under the same umbrella) predicts that by the end of this year Facebook will have reached $4.8 billion in digital display sales to Google's $4 billion.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network has succeeded in large part due to its targeting, tracking the likes, dislikes, social interactions of its 1.32 billion-strong user base. It trades in data and advertisers are keen to pay the price for getting the right ad in front of the right person at the right time. Google might know where you go on the Web, but Facebook knows who you are and gives advertisers a demographic added context to utilize.

Read More: Dillian: Lessons From 10 Years of Google

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