Search Spend Laps Display Advertising

Two studies tracking this race conclude that search marketing is lapping the alternatives.

Despite all the hype about display advertising and the block buster ad network deals of 2007, search continues to be the high performance engine that is driving online marketing spend. According to GroupM, search will make up 65-70% of the measured online advertising in 2008, up from 50% in 2005. For the mathematically challenged, that means search has gone from about even to 2 times the display spend. It also means most of the revenue growth has been from search. Nothing But Net, a new study by JPMorgan, meanwhile, puts the global search spend in 2008 at $30.5 billion.*

GroupM goes on to note that online advertising in Sweden is expected to exceed spending on any other channel, with the UK and Denmark likely to follow suit by 2009. Given that search is only getting about 10% of the dollars going to television in the U.S., we have a long way to go to catch up with our friends in Europe (and perhaps European companies need to wake up to the superior ROI of investing in SEO instead of relying on paid search)

Another interesting note from the study is that the 2008 U.S. election cycle is expected to contribute $2 Billion in local and national television advertising. No data is available at the moment, but it seems unlikely that search is getting 10% of that pie and it is clear at the moment that few of the campaigns are spending anything for SEO.

*We rarely call out a company’s SEO issues by name, but JPMorgan needs a lot of help. We wanted to link directly to the report, since we believe in citing source material whenever possible. Despite the fact that this study has been widely quoted, it is impossible to find any links to the study on In fact, searching for study by name, JPMorgan + Nothing But Net, “JPMorgan “Nothing But Net” failed to find a press release, abstract or the study in the top 10. We went on to search for “ nothing but net” and still couldn’t find the source.

JPMorgan Executives, if you’re listening, call us. :-)

9 thoughts on “Search Spend Laps Display Advertising

  1. Great post – very insightful and thanks for highlighting the differences between the US and Europe. Americans need to watch less televisions and once that happens, search numbers will catch up. Search is the best channel no doubt.

    With regard to JP Morgan – perhaps they charge for this research and that’s why they don’t want it publicly available on the web? Not sure. I know a lot of major Wall St. research houses build those departments on charging for the research. But, you are right to point out that some major companies just don’t understand or properly implement SEO/M; it’s quite amazing.

  2. Jake

    Thanks for the comments. Even (especially) if JPMorgan is charging for the research, they would want to have an abstract, a press release or something for a perspective buyer to find the information on their site. I used some fairly advanced search techniques and came up empty. It wouldn’t take them much to rank well for the searches I used.

  3. Excellent information I will probably use this in my classroom for future debates. We will periodically check in for future updates
    Michele Martel
    Thanks Again

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