The search engine marketing industry is still buoyant with the majority of companies planning to increase their budgets this year for both paid search and natural search, according to a report published by E-consultancy and Neutralize (*\*).

A survey has found that 63% of companies are planning to increase their budget for paid search in the next 12 months, and that 61% will be investing more in search engine optimisation (SEO or organic search) over the same period.

The 55-page UK Search Engine Marketing Report 2008 gives a comprehensive overview of the search marketing landscape and is a follow-up to the much-referenced 2007 report, enabling year-on-year comparisons.

More than 1,000 respondents took part in this survey, making it the most authoritative study of its kind about this fast-evolving marketplace.

Nine per cent of companies surveyed are spending more than £1 million annually on paid search, and one in six companies (16%) is spending at least £50,000 on SEO every year.

Lucy Cokes, Managing Director of search agency Neutralize (*\*), said: “It appears evident that search engine marketing is now cemented in the minds and therefore budgets of UK marketers. It is fantastic to see a greater understanding of the benefits of a well-managed search marketing campaign and budgets being increased accordingly across both paid and organic search."

Some 86% of search advertisers are paying to appear on Google’s search results, demonstrating that Google is maintaining its dominance of the paid search landscape.

The percentage of organisations using Yahoo!’s paid search platform has climbed from 45% last year to 49%. The proportion of advertisers using Microsoft’s platform has dropped slightly from 33% last year to 30% this year.

Linus Gregoriadis, E-consultancy’s Head of Research, said: “The almost universal use of Google by these advertisers echoes its huge market share among search engine users, with Google becoming almost synonymous with search. Yahoo! and Microsoft will be disappointed because they have invested a great deal in their search platforms but the gap is still huge.”

The research also found that 89% of search advertisers rate Google as the best for return on investment and, identically, 89% of company respondents rate Google as the best for quality of traffic. Google is even more dominant for its management tools. An overwhelming 94% of client-side advertisers and 91% of agencies said that Google was the best in this regard.

Gregoriadis added: “As separate entities, Yahoo! and Microsoft are struggling to make significant inroads into Google’s seemingly impregnable position. The overwhelming majority of both advertisers and agencies rate Google as the best for delivering traffic, for ROI and for its management tools which shows that its competitors still have a great deal of catching up to do. It will be fascinating to see what happens if and when Microsoft and Yahoo! merge.”

The full E-consultancy / Neutralize (*\*) UK Search Engine Marketing Report 2008 is available for download at:

http://www.e-consultancy.com/publications/search-engine-marketing-report-2008

Email or call Linus Gregoriadis for further information.

Email: linus AT e-consultancy.com
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 681 4051 or + 44 (0) 7956 5645713.

About E-consultancy

E-consultancy is an online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. E-consultancy, named Publisher of the Year at the 2006 AOP Awards, also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

E-consultancy has 65,000 registered users and more than 145,000 unique users sessions per month (audited by ABC Electronic). It is popular among internet professionals because of its time-saving advice and insight.

http://www.e-consultancy.com/about/

About Neutralize (*\*)

Neutralize (*\*), the sponsor of this research, is an integrated search engine marketing agency based in the UK, specialising in enterprise Search Engine Optimisation and advanced Pay Per Click Management.

Its rapidly expanding team is dedicated to providing top quality services to those companies serious about their search marketing success online.

Neutralize is a Google Enterprise Professional Partner and a Google Adwords Qualified Company.

Neutralize is part of notabene.net, a pan-European digital marketing agency with over 200 employees.

For more information about the search engine marketing services provided by Neutralize (*\*) please contact the Business Development team on +44 8700 630707 or email bizdev@neutralize.com.

http://www.neutralize.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 21st April 2008