Search Engine Marketing Thrives In Europe

European marketers are expected to spend almost €3 billion on search engine marketing by 2010, a significant rise in spending compared to some €850 million spent in 2004, according to technology and market research company Forrester. The rise in spending already surpassed €1billion in 2005 and comes as a result of an increase in online shoppers, advertising budgets and search engines. Search engine marketing includes activities such as search engine optimization, advertising and paid inclusion. Companies hire search engine optimizers to boost the ranking of web pages in search results and therefore raise website traffic, as well as pay to guarantee pages will appear in a particular search engine’s index. Advertisers pay to increase rankings and display ads aside results. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is expected to continue to be the largest market with a spending expected to reach €1billion in 2010. Spending in Germany – the second largest market – is expected to slow down, while investment in France is expected to increase, accounting for more than 30 percent in 2010. The Netherlands is already spending almost half of its online advertising budget in search marketing. Search engine advertising faces challenges in the coming years due to consumer mistrust of paid listings and the high prices of certain keywords. Other expected developments include a higher number of rich media ads due to an increase in residential broadband connections; as well as partnerships between search engine, media and retail sites to provide personalized search marketing, comparison search engines and vertical and video search. Comparison search engines allow users to contrast for instance prices; while vertical search engines enable focused, niche search. Video search could be used for branding purposes.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is search engine marketing?
What challenges does search engine advertising face in Europe?
Where does search engine marketing stand in major European countries?

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