Search growth slowing, only part of the picture

US search advertising spending fell 8% in Q4 '08, according to firm Efficient Frontier.

Reductions among smaller companies that spend less than $50,000 on search ads per month more profound, cut their spending by 23%. Advertisers that spend more than $200,000 on search monthly cut spending by 9%. Those that spend between $50,000 and $200,000 held flat
  • Search ad spending among financial advertisers fell 20%
  • Automotive spending dropped 15%
  • Retail advertisers increased spending 9% in Q4
"Even though the SEM company says US search ad spending fell by 8% in Q4 '08, reported earnings from the major search companies counter that data", David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst.
  • Google’s US net search revenues in Q4 up by 17% year over year.
  • Yahoo! reported US search revenues in Q4 up by 18%.

US search advertising expected to grow 14.9% in '09 to $12.3 billion, down from 21.4% in '08, according to eMarketer. 

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