A new report from JupiterResearch says that search marketing firms, rather than the search engines themselves, now control the majority of search spending in the US.
The report's not yet been posted to the Jupiter site, so I can't point you at an abstract or examine more specifics of what it covers. Expect a follow-up on that. If you watch JupiterResearch's Search Tactics section, I'd expect the abstract to be there shortly. In the meantime, the group has put out a press release on findings.
It's not clear to me from the release how it's determined that SEM firms control most search spending now. That's because to my knowledge, there's not been years-and-years of surveying done of search marketing firms at all. But hopefully, the actual report will reveal more about this.
The release does cite figures saying that agency spending on paid listings is up over the past 18 months, which is a time horizon I'm more comfortable with.
The Search Engine Marketing Agency Constellation report also rated 14 SEM firms. It found that in terms of paid listings management, these companies were all rated similarly (and listed alphabetically):
- AvenueA/Razorfish Search
- Decide Interactive/24/7 Search
In terms of editorial/organic search listings, these firms were rated tops (and are listed alphabetically):