But given the closeness of the competition, plus possible signs of resurgence at Yahoo and Aol in the display space, Google can't afford to rest on its laurels.
Meanwhile, marketers and agencies are complaining louder about drowning in "big data" while lamenting the seeming lack of "smart data." Google is looking in part to improved measurement and related tools to maintain its advertising hegemony across both search and display.
Last month, for example, Google trumpeted the Media Ratings Council's accreditation for its viewability metrics. Still, asked if the display benchmark tool is best seen as a complement or an additional layer to the myriad other analytics tools Google offers, such as YouTube's TrueView or its standalone engagement metrics, Mohan says this should be considered separately.
"Many companies use our analytics tools – and others – to understand performance of their campaigns and sites," Mohan said. "It's much harder, though, to get reliable access to benchmarks for some of the key metrics, like video completion rate or CTR. This is meant to help address that."
In a snapshot that Google provided with a blog post, people are interacting with ads 50-60% more frequently and spending 20-30% more time interacting. An advertiser looking for more specific data that applies to their business can use the benchmarking tool to focus on their geographical region and compare and contrast their performance more closely to how other campaigns are performing.
In other words, since these are DoubleClick benchmarks, they're based on data from campaigns across the web, not just Google's own properties, Mohan noted when asked about the company's other specific data offerings. In terms of how agencies and marketers should use the display benchmarks, Mohan said it is meant to provide a broad understanding of what's happening beyond any one format.
"That said, I think in spirit they are a complement. With better measurement, advertisers can design their campaigns around engagement, which is also our goal with formats like True View and engagement ads," Mohan added. "Measurement, generally, is a huge focus for us this year so stay tuned for more to come on this front."