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BizReport : Search Marketing : January 20, 2009

WSJ: Q4 2008 saw SEM spend decline

The word is out. Search engine marketing spend declined in the fourth quarter of 2008, demonstrating that, while it has been somewhat less affected by the recession, it's not untouchable.

by Helen Leggatt

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal this week, which commented on the soon-to-be-released Efficient Frontier search marketing report, SEM declined 8% in Q4 2008 vs. Q4 2007.

The Journal quotes from the report as follows:

Advertisers who spend less than $50,000 on search ads cut their spending by 23% year-over-year, while advertisers that spend more than $200,000 on search per month cut spending by 9% during that time. Purchases by advertisers who spend between $50,000 and $200,000 were relatively flat.

Finance and automotive advertising continued to deteriorate. Search-ad spending among financial advertisers fell 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Search spending from automotive advertisers declined 15% during that period.

It is the first time SEM spending has declined in a quarter year-over-year since Efficient Frontier began keeping records.

Despite the gloomy news, Google is still expected to announce double-digit revenue growth for the fourth quarter of 2008. All will be revealed on January 22, when Google announces its Q4 earnings.

Tags: Efficient Frontier, Google, search engine marketing, SEM, Wall Street Journal

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