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SEMPO Survey: Paid Search Spend to Rise 22% in 2010

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And most of it's going to Google.

We take monthly look at search engine rankings here on Search Engine Watch, but that only accounts for the number of queries each search engine is experiencing. What really matters is how much is being spent on search ads.

Thank goodness for SEMPO's annual survey. They released the results today and the news is solid as ever for Google but crappy for Yahoo! and Bing.

97% of companies are advertising on Google. But only 50% plan to spend on Yahoo! in 2009 - down from 68% in 2009 and 86% in 2008. Meanwhile, planned spend on Bing came in at 44% which is down from the 54% who said they used Live Search last year. With the two companies merging their search efforts together, this does not bode well for their future.

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It's not about price. Google ad costs have become more expensive according to more than half of advertisers (56%) and agencies (62%). Just a third see an increase in ad costs at Yahoo! (32%) and Bing (29%).

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Companies are planning to increase their spends on SEO (43%) and paid (37%) in 2010. While organic is about 2 points lower than last year, paid search spend is a whopping 22% higher. This is huge news for Google, since the spend is targeted there.

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Touching on organic again for just a moment, companies are seeing changes due to personalization of search. 31% of companies say personalization is "highly significant" while 44% say it is plain ol' "significant." That's 75% of companies saying personalization is affecting their SEO. That's a big deal.

Last but not least, if you felt kinda sad for Yahoo! and Bing earlier, then you're really gonna need a tissue for the print publishing industry. Budgets are being re-allocated in order to fund that aforementioned increase in search spend, and print ads are getting the shaft.

49% of companies plan to shift dollars from print to search marketing. 39% are shifting from direct mail and 24% are shifting from conferences and exhibitions. Last but not least, 23% will shift from display ads.

That last one makes no sense at all since data strongly shows that a combined search/display ad campaign performs better than either one alone.

So there you have it. What do you think of these results? On par with what your company is experiencing? Share your thoughts on the survey by leaving a comment below.


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