Search Advertising Trade Group Slashes Forecasts

A major search-advertising trade organization is slashing its forecasts for the search-marketing industry, as the economic turmoil continues to sweep through what has been a bright spot in the online ad market.

In a survey set to be released this week, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, known as SEMPO, says North American search marketing spending will increase only nine percent to $14.7 billion in 2009 from $13.5 billion a year ago. Its previous estimates, made in early 2008, called for the industry to grow at more than twice that rate this year, from $15.7 billion in 2008 to $18.8 billion in 2009. The new forecasts call for the industry to reach $19.8 billion in 2011, down from a previous estimate of $25.2 billion for that year.

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