TopRank Marketing Editor

SES San Jose Session: Search Industry Update

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Search Industry Update - Sean Walsh

Paid search not only accounts for nearly 45% of the global online ad spend, but it is also one of the fastest growing online ad formats.

I’m currently enrolled in the Advanced Search Advertising course through the SEMPO Institute and am excited to learn about the new trends in search marketing, shared by industry experts like Heather Dougherty, Research Director for Hitwise, Kevin Lee, Executive Chairman & Co-founder of Didit, Sean Walsh, VP Online Marketing for and Jaideep Singh, CEO & Co-Founder of

Online advertising spend reached $35 Billion in 2007 and is projected to continue to reach $44 Billion in 2008 and $54 in 2009.

Sean Walsh spoke specifically about the state of the travel industry. He stated that over the last several years, the shift to online advertising has been the fuel of growth for the travel industry. Something of concern is the American economy and specifically the habits of the America consumer.

Travel search volume trends have seen a decline in the overall volume for the keyword search ‘vacation’. The American consumer is under increasing pressure to continue purchasing. The benefits of the offline to online advertising shift cannot overcome this downward force.

Heather Dougherty spoke to the growth seen in Google’s market share and industry specific search.

Searches in Google during July 2008 increased 10% over the previous year. While Google’s traffic continues to increase, the returning visitor rate remains at an average of 95% month over month. Both indicate Google continues to dominate within the market place.

The impact of search varies widely among industries, with the automotive and manufacturing industries seeing the most growth. Consumers in these industries are looking for product specifics online, including features and benefits for comparison.

Another factor contributing to growth is the willingness to purchase search traffic within each industry. Paid search provides an additional opportunity to drive optimization. The retail industry is leading with 27% including paid search in their marketing mix, followed by the Automotive and Manufacturing industries at 25%.

Kevin Lee notes that advertising spend is based on marginal profit and Google’s share of wallet continues to grow.

As of June 08, Google has 74% of the market share, while yahoo has 20% and Microsoft with 5%. Although query share volume is important, quality and competitiveness of the query volume is also a factor in overall campaign performance.

Things to watch for in the future:

  • Keyword targeted display (contextual)
  • Re-targeted search display ads and text
  • Keyword targeted video and rich media
  • Better control over syndication networks
  • Mobil? CPC, CPCall, CPM, CPA, CPSMS
  • Real-time cookie/profile driven advertising
  • Blending of search and display
  • MSFT/YHOO merger, GOOG/Yahoo alliance

Jaideep Singh discussed the opportunities in people search as search queries continue to increase.

People Search Query by Channel:

  • Search engines contribute 7 Billion per month
  • Social networks contribute 7 Billion per month
  • Address Books contribute 30 Billion per month
  • Content search contributes 1 Billion per month
  • Online Directories contribute 2 Billion per month

People search is driven with 35% brand name and keyword queries, 45% brand name only and 25% keyword only queries.

For more photos from SES San Jose, be sure to visit TopRank on Flickr.

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