Google Ad Revenue

Revenue Stream20172018201920202021
Google Search & other$69.8B$85.3B$98.1B$104B$149B
YouTube ads$8.15B$11.15B$15.15B$19.77B$28.85B
Google Network$17.6B$20B$21.55B$23B$31.7B

Google was the most powerful advertising machine ever built.

Starting as a research project from two PhDs at Stanford (Page and Brin), Google became the most scalable advertising machine of our time.

Today Google, rebranded as Alphabet, still generates most of its revenues from advertising, which powers up more than 80% of its revenues in 2021.

In 2021, Google generated $209.5 billion in revenues from advertising, which represented 81.4% of the total revenues, compared to the $147 billion in revenues, which represented 80.6% of revenues. Therefore, most of the revenues from Alphabet, the mother company of Google, come from advertising.

Google’s business model combines technology and distribution to enable a product able to scale to billions of users worldwide.


On the one hand, you get a free search engine, together with other vertical tools for search, which serves billions of users for free.

While at some time, Google has an advertising network (AdSense) that allows publishers to monetize their content.

While advertisers can use Google Ads to target free users on the platform.

Google and Facebook have been one of the most prominent attention merchants of the last decade.


Still as of 2021, most advertising revenues would be split between Google and Facebook.

The hidden revenue generation model is among the most profitable patterns for business models built on advertising. In fact, businesses like Google and Facebook have managed to gain more than $290 billion in 2021 from advertising on their platform, even though many users might not be aware of the mechanisms that drive those platforms.

At the same time, Google has been trying for years also to diversify away from its core business model, placing bets in other areas.

As of 2022, those bets haven’t paid off yet, and in 2021, for instance, the main bets Google (Alphabet), has cost the company over $5 billion.

Of Google’s (Alphabet) over $257 billion revenues for 2021, Google also generated $753 million from a group of startup bets, which Google considers potential moonshots (companies that might open up new industries). Those Google’s bets also generated a loss for the company of over $5.2 billion. In short, Google is using the money generated by search and betting it on other innovative industries. 

Read Next: Google Business Model, Google Subsidiaries, What Happened To Google Glass?, What happened to Google Plus?, How does Google Maps make money?, Who Owns Google?, How Does YouTube Make Money?, History of Youtube, How Do YouTubers Make Money?

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