NEW YORK: Google continues to dominate global search advertising and will account for over half of this $81.6bn market in 2015, according to new figures.

Breaking out search ad spending from digital ad spending for the first time, researcher eMarketer said that the internet giant's search ad revenues would grow 15.7% this year to reach $44.46bn, giving it a 54.5% share of the world total.

This ascendency is being chipped away only very slowly – its share in 2013 was 55.2% and in 2014 54.7%.

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Google's nearest rival is China's Baidu and its share is advancing steadily, from 6.4% in 2013 to 7.6% in 2014 and 8.8% in 2015, aided by growth rates double that of the market leader.

Another Chinese search engine, Sohu, is in turn growing twice as fast as Baidu, although as yet its global share is negligible at 0.5% in 2014, expected to edge up to 0.6% in 2015.

Google, banned in China, has been unable to take advantage of this booming market, which is being driven by ecommerce and the growing number of consumers in lower tier cities turning to online shopping. 

Search advertising expenditure in this country is set to leap by almost one third (32.8%) in 2015 to hit $14.90bn. In comparison, the US total is $25.66bn.

Microsoft and Yahoo take third and fourth places, with 2014 shares of 4.2% and 2.5% respectively. And while Microsoft is set to maintain that share in 2015, Yahoo is predicted to slip to 2.3%.

That slide is starting to slow, however, as eMarketer expected the company would see a 6.9% uplift in search revenue growth this year, picking up from the 4.8% recorded in 2014.

The global market is projected to increase again by 15% in 2016, with slower growth in subsequent years, but in 2019 it will still be growing at almost 10% and will be worth an estimated $130.6bn.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff