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???
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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.