In 2010, Google had 44% of global online advertising revenues, and in 2011 it reached 50%, according to ZenithOptimedia's report and Google's financials. Ah, and guess what: in 2010, Facebook only had 3% of global online advertising revenues. And for both, advertising revenues are their main source of incomes.
What we should follow more is Google's intense development into recreating our real world into a virtual world where it can...surprise, surprise...sell virtual reality advertising space. Picture the growth in revenues and their new dominance.
For several years now, Google puts lots of effort into building different kinds of Maps. From Google Earth to Google Indoors, from Amazon Forest to Moon and Mars, from Street View to Ocean etc. And they also have Google Goggles. Smart, huh?
Some months ago there was an interesting article about who owns the advertising space in an augmented reality world that was just starting to raise this very important question, behind which are lots of future revenues. Theoretically everybody can place augmented reality advertising everywhere, but when you build your own virtual world on top of the real one and you are the most used platform, I would say the augmented reality advertising revenues will go into the pockets of the one who made the virtual world - and needless to say Google is far away in this development (and I see it is prepared not only for buildings or streets, but much more). There are patents to be obtained, new legislation to come, still most probably Google will be the winner. Getting better and better at being a great player in the advertising industry.
In the meantime Google is also trying this monetization from maps: charging businesses for maps services. But that is nothing for what is to come.
Also in the meantime Google can play with social networks and other things, that relate more or less to their big hit.
But we keep on talking about Social Networks, while ignoring Maps and other smart moves alike. And then no wonder we end up with so many startups developing social networks and tools for them, driven by the mirage, while failing to inspire them towards true business success in terms of revenues.
Looking forward for the future!