The online advertising industry had a strong fourth quarter among its top four players, with better performances from Microsoft and Yahoo! than in 3rd quarter.

The top dogs of web marketing: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL all showed optimistic growth, ramping up advertising revenue by more than 10% for the quarter. Between the four quarters, $9 billion was brought in from online advertising, an impressive pull for an industry which was rocked last year in the US.

Unlike in the third quarter, where advertising growth came exclusively from Google whilst the opposition slumped, 4th quarter represented considerable double digit percentage growth for all of the main players.

In the lead was Google, with an astounding $6.4 billion brought in from advertising revenue. The last quarter was Google’s best of the year by some margin; with an average revenue of $5.4 billion over the first three quarters, the 4th quarter was a big jump for the world’s major search engine.

Yahoo! also managed its best quarter of the year, with online ad revenue of $1.5 billion, an increase of 11.4% from the previous quarter. Microsoft’s growth was the most pronounced over the quarter, jumping from $490 million in 3rd quarter to $581 million in 4th quarter.

Having separated from Time Warner, AOL managed impressive revenue streams of $472 million, up by 13.7 % from the previous quarter. Microsoft’s results were attributed to the growing momentum of online sales through Bing, whilst Yahoo!’s growth is possibly the first positive signs that their rebranding exercise is paying off.

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