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Search engine rankings war heats up

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday March 30, 2010 )

The battle for prime search engine rankings will get even harder this year with companies spending more on search marketing; both paid search and organic.

The sixth annual State of Search Engine Marketing Report estimates that the North American search engine marketing industry will grow 14% from $14.6 billion in 2009 to $16.6 billion by the end of 2010.

49% of companies are diverting budgets to search engine marketing from print advertising. Over a third are shifting money away from direct mail and nearly a quarter will be channeling cash from conferences, exhibitions and web display advertising.

The survey also underlines the incredible growth of Google Adwords, which started only 7 years ago. 97% of companies participating in the survey are paying to advertise on Google AdWords.

When it comes to organic (free) results, on average, companies expect to spend 43% more on search engine optimization in 2010 than they did in 2009.

For the search marketing industry, it’s good and “bad” news. Good in that there will be a lot more cash around; “bad” in that companies will of course be expecting return on that investment and with so much competition, gaining top 5 rankings won’t be getting any easier.

For the little guy optimizing his/her own site, they’ll also be increasingly up against the big guns and deep pockets of large companies that are finally starting to understand solid SEO can provide some of the best return on investment around.

1,471 respondents took part in the survey, including 527 advertisers and 944 supply-side respondents carrying out search engine marketing on behalf of clients (including agencies or consultants).

State of Search Engine Marketing Report 2010, produced by Econsultancy in association with SEMPO, can be purchased here.


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