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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Search Advertising Prospers while Display Suffers in Recessive Times

Posted by @ 9:16 pm

It’s a well documented fact that traditional media advertising is suffering in the current economic climate, however it seems that Search Marketing’s online “cousin”, Display advertising is also hitting rougher times as companies tighten their marketing budgets.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that online advertising experienced healthy growth (approx 20%) in the last quarter, however Search Advertising is making up a larger proportion of this growth.

eMarketer predicts Search Advertising will reach US$10.4 billion this year, which is more than double what will be spent on Display advertising. Good news for Google who control’s 60% of the search ad market.

So why are companies abandoning Display Advertising in favour of its simple text based search ad counterpart. In simple terms – it’s “safe ROI”.

Don Reisinger summed it up well on TechCrunch: “Generally speaking, search ads are better targeted than display ads. And in an environment where companies have less money to go around, they need to find the best ways to utilize that cash and speak to the target audience.”

In a nutshell, the marketing focus changes in tougher times, and companies seek direct conversion rather than branding when the marketing spend gets squeezed.

While some believe that Display will get a boost when companies move their traditional media branding budgets online, short term – the focus for marketers and business owners is justifying spend – and that’s when branding efforts get paused (unless your Sony, Nike, Apple et al)

The push towards Search Advertising is reinforced as it offers marketers the best of both worlds – Relevance, immediate response, strong ROI and “branding” too.

As Greg Sterling points out, “…search is a branding medium. There are lots of studies that show a branding effect or lift from paid search. And consumer behavior also argues that search should be thought of, if not as a branding medium, then as something more complex than simply a direct response medium.”

When the going gets tough, it appears that Search Advertising is proving to be most recession proof of all advertising options. It’s the marketing safe haven for companies big and small.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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