SEMPO survey: Search engine marketing continues to grow

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Despite an uncertain US economy, search engine marketing (SEM) spending has continued to grow, according to preliminary findings of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization's (SEMPO) State of the Market survey for 2007.

According to the survey, the North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 to $12.2 billion from 2006 to 2007. Respondents also projected that SEM spending in North America will grow to as much as $25.2 billion by 2011, which is an increase from the $18.6 billion forecasted previously. 

Those who are using search already are recognizing that they haven't taken full advantage of it, and there are still a lot of companies entering search for the first time, which is another area of growth, said Kevin Lee, executive chairman of Didit and SEMPO board member. 

According to survey results, money for search appears to be coming from budgets from both online and offline marketing programs. In particular, money for search is being repurposed from print magazine advertising, Web site development, and direct mail.

“Radio and TV ads are not getting cut. The money for search is coming from other direct response mechanisms and media,” Lee continued. 

Survey results also indicated that paid placement consisted of 87.4% of all search spending in 2007, while organic search was 10.5%. In addition, paid inclusion was .07% and technology investment was 1.4%.

Marketers are still getting great ROI from paid search, Lee said. It appears that they are not going to abandon search for other mediums, even if the cost keywords and pay-per-click campaigns get more expensive, he said.

SEMPO is a global nonprofit organization consisting of more than 720 members. More than 850 search engine advertisers and SEM agencies completed the survey, which was overseen by Radar Research and administered by IntelliSurvey.

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