July 21, 2011, 1:14 PM

Companies are spending more on search, and outsourcing it more, too

The search marketing industry will grow 16% this year, report says.

Allison Enright

Editor

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Companies will spend more on search engine marketing this year and will increasingly outsource search marketing tasks, according to the State of Search Marketing Report 2011 from the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, or SEMPO.

The cross-industry report estimates the value of the North American search marketing industry will grow 16% this year to $19.3 billion, up from $16.6 billion in 2010.

In 2011, 44% of the 920 survey respondents say they manage search engine optimization or organic search on their own, down from 51% in 2010. 38% say they handle their own paid search marketing this year, down from 47% last year.

When asked to rate the impact new online trends and developments have on their overall search marketing efforts, 40% of survey respondents say they expect the mobile web will have a highly significant impact on their campaigns; 30% point to search result personalization and 29% behavior targeting.

Not surprisingly, Google remains the leader in paid search. 95% of companies in the survey say they use Google AdWords to place ads on Google search results pages, whereas 70% say they use the now-combined Yahoo and Bing ad service. 47% say they’ve placed paid ads on the Facebook social network. 

The study surveyed marketers at companies in a range of industries about their in-house practices and surveyed agencies about how they handle search for their clients.

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