How To Quantify Search Marketing

With the search engines becoming portals, how exactly do you quantify the size of the search advertising market? Are contextual ads search marketing? Even if they appear on Gmail? Does anyone care?

It’s a fair question, I think, and there’s a good article at MediaPost that projects forward to Search Marketing circa 2011.

What is the size of the industry we’re competing in? Are many of the channels, like pay-per-call, search marketing, or search informed?

I often find it pays to look on the edges. Sometimes these really obvious things pop out. Like, why spend a huge amount of time and money getting top ranking for a keyword, when you can achieve the same boost to your bottom-line by placing an advertisement on the site that is already at number one?

It may be a lot cheaper, and the return a lot higher.

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