Friday, May 29th, 2020

State of Search: Strong SEM Industry Growth Projected in 2011


PPC is as significant as ever, the is stronger than ever and projected to grow 16 percent this year, and the Microsoft-Yahoo Search Alliance was well-received. Those are just a few of the takeaways from SEMPO’s State Of Search Marketing Report 2011.


According to IBIS World, the chart above shows several of the industries they marked as the highest industry growth in 2010 and 2011 by percentage. Just for fun, we added the findings from the State of Search Report to their data and threw it into a chart to show the significance behind the numbers.

Sixteen percent, 14 percent, and even 9 percent may not sound like much, but when you factor in the consistency of year-over-year growth, it’s rather amazing considering the economical turbulence and turmoil hitting so many other industries.

Econsultancy, partnered with SEMPO, polled 900 companies and agencies through a global online survey. The businesses that participated were located across 66 countries in a myriad of verticals. The full annual report is available to SEMPO members and a sample study is published on Econsultancy.

The study projects 2011 spending in the North American Search Engine Marketing sector to grow from $16.6 billion to $19.3 billion in 2011, a $2.7 billion increase. The projected growth of 16 percent is up from 14 percent last year.

Increased 2011 spending in North America will be on:

  • Paid Search (PPC/Paid Inclusion)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Facebook PPC Advertising
  • Search Related Technology
  • Mobile Internet


Out of 11 specific components of search engine marketing, the rise of mobile Internet was selected by the participants as the highest impact on search marketing for 2011, with 79 percent of companies saying mobile will be “highly significant”


Outsourcing continues to become more popular for SEO agencies, as the number of SEO agencies performing services in-house decreased from 51 percent to 44 percent. The trend holds through with social media and PPC as well. Fewer companies are performing the services internally.

Fifty-four percent of businesses plan to increase spending on SEO, while only 10 percent plan on spending less.

Of the three given options to the question, “Which of the following does your company carry out?” 326 respondents clarified that SEO was the most popular service (86 percent) over PPC (79 percent), and social media marketing (74 percent).

The percentage for SEO and PPC was down compared to 2010 and social media marketing was the only one that showed an increase. The trend is similar between companies and agencies.

PPC & Advertising

Nearly 27 percent of agencies felt the Search Alliance merger produced a positive effect. The biggest benefit was clearly higher ROI, better bid prices, and more-bang-for-their-buck.

The most widely used Google features were location-based ads for agencies and ad sitelinks for companies. Both agencies and companies showed product listings and product extensions to have the least amount of usage.

Social Media

Social media budgets are up, but only a little when compared to last year.

Facebook’s PPC advertising program is gaining momentum amongst the businesses, which was up to 47 percent of total businesses in North America and 45 percent of the businesses utilizing Facebook ads worldwide.

More opportunity for B2B social media campaigns as less participation over social media channels was highlighted.

For more information on the report or to obtain a copy of the report visit the official SEMPO web site. The full report is available to members at the recently lowered membership rate to $125 annually.

Related posts:

  1. Search Ad Revenues Strong in Record-Breaking Half-Year, IAB Reports
  2. Yandex Reports 43% Revenue Growth
  3. Small Business Search Advertising Spend Growth Slows in Q3; Bing Share Rises [Report]
  4. Search News & Headlines Around the Web – April 12, 2011
  5. Is The Search Industry Closed for Business? Or Just Opening?

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