Search Marketing Spending and Trends

Search dominated by paid placement, more SEO to come.
eMarketer
March 30, 2009

Dave’s Comments (Digital Marketing Tutorial Blog): The beat goes on! Nice to look at any spending projection chart these days (see full article on eMarketer) and see the numbers going UP! This article also does a nice job making the case for why SEO will continue to grow at a rate faster than paid search engine advertising.

“New data provided by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), based on research conducted by Radar Research, sheds light on how search marketing dollars are being spent.

In 2008, $13.5 billion was spent on search marketing. The space was mostly made up of paid placement and search engine optimization (SEO), with a sliver going to technology providers whose software assisted in the execution of search campaigns. Paid search ads saw 88% of the total pie, SEO only 11%.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Spending in North America, by Tactic, 2008

The ratio of paid placement to SEO will change in the future.

“Internet users prefer organic listings to paid search. They generally find them more relevant—or simply more acceptable—than advertising,” said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman. “Therefore, they tend to click on organic results more often than on paid search ads.”

SEO is also cost-effective and works across all search engines. In addition, an optimized site doesn’t drop off the first results page even when a marketer’s spending slows or stops, as paid search does.”

Read the entire article on eMarketer.com.