The search engine marketing industry will continue to show strong growth this year, new industry figures indicate.

The 2007 State of the Market survey by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation (Sempo) reveals that search engine marketing (SEM) spending exceeded projections last year and this trend is expected to continue.

According to respondents, the drivers behind the anticipated growth are advertiser demand, rising costs of keywords and pay-per-click campaigns and an increase in the number of small-to-midsize businesses using SEM.

Increased interest in behavioural and demographic targeting of searchers will also cause growth, marketers said.

The survey also showed that out of the 75 per cent of respondents approaching a spending ceiling in paid placement, more than half want those expected price increases to be 30 per cent or less.

Gordon Hotchkiss, Sempo’s chairman, said: “Marketers are finally beginning to recognise the value of search and we expect search prices will hold and may even continue to move upward based on survey data.”
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