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At the time of the rig explosion in April, BP barely registered on Google, but neither did its big-oil peers; Exxon Mobile, the world's largest corporation by market cap, spent just $43,000 on search ads in June.
By comparison, one of Google's top advertisers that month, AT&T Mobile, spent more than $8 million on AdWords in June, a big month for the company, which was supporting the launch of iPhone 4. (AT&T is the third-largest U.S. advertiser, according to Ad Age DataCenter; it spent $2.8 billion on measured media -- almost $1.3 billion on TV alone -- in 2009. The company declined to comment on its search spending.) Other big June spenders included Apollo Group, the company behind The University of Phoenix, online travel site Expedia, eBay and Amazon, which all spent over $5 million apiece on search.
The data obtained by Ad Age includes huge brands such as GM, Walt Disney, Eastman Kodak and BMW, which appear to have spent less than $500,000 in June. Tech rival Apple spent just under $1 million on search during the month, as did chip maker Intel.
Among Google's biggest spenders are businesses that depend on search traffic, including those that resell AdWords or simply buy Google traffic to resell to their own advertisers, including Hungry Machine, which does business under the name Living Social, which spent $2.4 million in June, and Yellowpages.com, which spent $1.2 million.
...Apple spent just under $1 million on search during the month...
I wonder if that paid off for them. And if anyone cares.