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Google will overtake Facebook in the lucrative digital display advertising market in the US by holding 15.4 per cent of the sector by the end of the year, according to new figures.

Beancounters at eMarketer said the search giant is expected to make $2.31bn in US display ad revenue in 2012, up 38.5 per cent from its earnings in 2011. Meanwhile Facebook will trouser $2.16bn, up 24.4 per cent from last year. Display advertising, as opposed to classified ads, is typically banners and similar promos adorning websites.

Google's rise to the top is helped by video advertising on its YouTube subsidary, and its mobile display ads through Admob, an area that Facebook has yet to effectively monetise.

Yahoo!, the leader of the pack before Facebook tipped it out of the top spot last year, will lose even more market share, dropping to just 9.3 per cent of the market, compared to Zuck's 14.4 per cent.

The spread between the top three is forecast to continue for the next two years as well: Google is set to extend its lead into 21.2 per cent of the market in 2014, while Facebook shifts to 15.5 per cent and Yahoo! languishes with seven per cent. The research firm reckons the overall US digital display ad market will grow 21.5 per cent this year to $14.98bn - leaving Microsoft and AOL mopping up the scraps. ®

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