Google Ads Competitors and Similar Companies

Google Ads Competitors

Google Ads is an advertising platform created by Google for individuals and businesses to promote their offerings. Old-timers in the internet industry will know it better as Google AdWords. The platform was created and launched during the turn of the millennium, in 2000. In the early stages, most of the work was managed by AdWords; the customer only had to make monthly payments. However, as business strategies evolved over time, AdWords began handing over the reins of its campaigns to the customers.

The name change from AdWords to Google Ads occurred only recently, sometime in 2018. But its functionality has more or less remained the same. It will place your ad depending on the cookies in addition to the target keywords chosen. Your ads can be in the form of texts, images, or even videos. Google has experienced its share of ups and downs through its journey from AdWords to Ads, most notably the trademark infringement controversy of 2004. However, it has managed to settle most of the lawsuits.

NameGoogle Ads
HeadquartersMountain View, CA, US
SIC Code7374
StatusOwned by Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc
Industry SectorOnline Advertising
Trading SymbolN/A

How Google Ads makes Money

Google Ads has been using the pay-per-click (PPC) revenue model for a long time. PPC is vastly different from a retail model like that of Amazon. Here’s how it works. Suppose you create a Google Ads campaign for a particular period of time, after which Google displays your ad on a relevant page. You will have to pay Google whenever anyone clicks the link in your ad. They don’t necessarily need to buy anything from your webpage. So why pay Google for the clicks? According to general consensus, a greater number of clicks leads to a substantial rise in sales.

Online Advertising

A few decades ago, online advertising was non-existent. It was in the ‘80s and the ‘90s that it beheld an exponential rise, and believe it or not, it continues to rise in the same way to this day. Online advertising comprises a number of sub-sectors, of which PPC is a small but important part. And Google Ads rules the roost in this sector, so much so that its earnings constitute a major part of Alphabet Inc’s overall revenue of $256.7 billion. The platform consists of a host of features, right from planners and editors to full-fledged manager accounts.

Companies Similar to Google Ads

It is well-known among business circles that Google Ads gives the most bang for your buck. Despite its amazing, long-standing reputation, quite a few online advertisers opt for other marketing platforms for reasons aplenty (a major one being the PPC rate). If you are one of those, then we have listed other alternatives for you to consider.

Google Ads Similar Companies

The biggest rivals to Google Ads are Microsoft Ads, Amazon Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Reddit Ads, and Instagram Ads. Of these, as you might know already, Facebook and Instagram fall under the same company – Meta. But they are two entirely different advertising platforms. Let’s discuss Google Ads competitors in more detail.

Microsoft Ads

Google Ads Competitors - Microsoft Ads

Microsoft Advertising runs on the same model as that of Google Ads – PPC. The only difference is the platform for which it generates the ads. While Google is focused on its own search engine, Microsoft offers its advertising services for three different platforms – Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo. Customers bid for their ads to be displayed over these platforms for a set duration. The frequency of the ad display is determined by its click-through rate (CTR). A high CTR means a greater chance of landing new clients for your business.

Online Advertising

Microsoft Ads entered the online advertising industry in 2006, over six years after Google Ads was launched. Before that, it used to feature ads from other search engines on its platform. Despite the late start, it didn’t take the company long to grow its ad revenue business, what with acquisitions of several competitors like aQuantive and ScreenTonic. Microsoft advertising’s most recent successful acquisition was Xandr, another one of its competitors, from AT&T. Today, it has regained its position among the top businesses in the online advertising industry.

Annual RevenueFundingHeadquartersEmployees
$10B$1M (Microsoft)Redmond, WA10,000

Amazon Ads

Google Ads Competitors - Amazon Ads

Amazon Advertising is a service provided by Amazon that lets the sellers on its platform promote their products on search engines and other websites. It is more akin to Google Shopping Ads, but the business algorithm is more or less similar to that of Google Ads. The cost-per-click (CPC) rates of Amazon Ads are almost half that of Google Ads, but that is probably because you can only display products listed on Amazon in the ad. The company launched its advertising division sometime in 2012.

Online Advertising

Amazon may have entered the online advertising industry relatively late, but it beheld rapid growth over the years that followed. Sellers were already looking for different avenues to promote their products, and when an official ad campaign turned up, they jumped at the chance. With Amazon Ads, the internet community has a three-way advantage. Not only Amazon and the sellers benefit from the campaign, but the third-party site owners too! Amazon Ads is a part of Amazon Services, not to be mistaken for Amazon Web Services which is a different department.

Annual RevenueFundingHeadquartersEmployees
$31B$108M (Amazon)San Francisco, CA100

LinkedIn Ads

Google Ads Competitors - LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn, one of the best websites to develop your business contacts, wasn’t going to fall behind when other online firms started profiting from their advertising ventures. The company came up with LinkedIn Ads which users can take advantage of for promoting their skills or businesses. A LinkedIn advert looks similar to a Google ad, but with an additional image included. Users need to make it as short as possible for maximum efficiency, for the algorithm organically displays the ads to the target audience.

Online Advertising

As you might know, LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. But it arrived in the online advertising industry on its own in 2005, way before its acquisition in 2016. You need to be a registered user of LinkedIn to access its advertising features. They include promotional posts, multi-device compatibility, access to the inboxes of other members, and targeted groups. Apart from the basic PPC or CPC model, the company also provides its services based on the cost-per-mille (CPM) model.

Annual RevenueFundingHeadquartersEmployees
$3.8B$154.8M (LinkedIn)Sunnyvale, CA18,000

Facebook Ads / Instagram Ads

Google Ads Competitors -  Facebook Ads / Instagram Ads

Facebook is one of the top social media platforms in the world today. Did you know that it is used by over 2.8 billion people monthly? That’s a little less than half the current world population! No wonder, advertisers are vying to tap into the unlimited promotional potential that Facebook provides. Indeed, when Facebook Ads was launched sometime in 2007, it started generating revenue immediately. And Instagram isn’t too far behind, with a user base of over 1.3 billion.

Online Advertising

As mentioned before, Facebook and Instagram both are owned by the same company – Meta. Thus, when it boils down to online advertising on social media, no other company comes even close to Meta. While Facebook ads are more or less similar to Google Ads, Instagram Ads play a whole different ball game. Apart from featuring customer ads in posts, Instagram also displays them as a story. You may be surprised to know that a very large part of Meta’s revenue stems from the advertising department of FB and Insta.

Annual RevenueFundingHeadquartersEmployees
$120B (Meta)$16B (Meta)Menlo Park, CA77,805

Reddit Ads

When it comes to online discussion forums, Reddit barely has any competition. Did you know that it is the 9th most visited website in the world? It has an active user base of over 48 million in the US itself. Imagine its popularity the world over! The online advertising department of Reddit was launched four years after its inception, in 2009. It features both sponsored content and other adverts similar to Google Ads.

Online Advertising

The Reddit community (Redditors) is widely considered to be the cream of online communities. It has the right mix of variety and quality, so if your product is good, then you will most likely find great buyers via Reddit Ads. It allows you to run all kinds of ad campaigns, right from text to videos. Its revenue model is CPM based, so you will receive the 1000 views of your ad for your bid amount.

Annual RevenueFundingHeadquartersEmployees
$170M$1.3B (Reddit)San Francisco, CA700


Google Ads’ biggest competitor is Microsoft Ads. Despite its late launch in the online advertising world, Microsoft Advertising has managed to quickly make its way to the top “big three” in the industry. Its revenue may be lower than that of Google Ads, but remember that it provides ad display on three different platforms, each of which is a formidable competitor of Google itself. Indeed, the online competition is almost as tough as in the offline hardware industry. So if you are looking for a viable alternative to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads is your best bet.

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