Search Spending Continues To Rise -- But Contextual Is Lumped In

In the second quarter of this year, paid search advertising was nearly $1 billion -- a 29 percent rise from the same period as a year ago. It also makes up 40 percent of all online ad spending. This is according to new figures from the Interactive Advertising Burean and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

However, I'm fairly positive that contextual ads -- which are NOT search advertising -- are nonetheless lumped into these figures. That's because I don't see a separate category for contextual. If this is the case, then the figures are misleading. They give no idea what's really fueling the rise -- more spending on search, more spending on contextual or what???

More details from MediaPost here: Search Expands Role As Online's Ad Engine. And Gary tells me when the actual report is out for the public, you should be able to find it here.

Want to comment or read discussion of this topic? Please visit this thread in our forums: Online Advertising Coming Back: Search Surging.

Postscript: The report is now available. The definitions DO include contextual ads as "contextual search" and part of search spending. That's bad. On the upside, spending on "site optimization" IS included, so the figures aren't purely on the advertising side of things.