Ever since Microsoft released its search engine tool, Bing, industry analysts have been watching for shifts in the massive search market. At the end of the 3rd quarter, little had changed. Google had 77% of the market, Yahoo was 47379_mobile_phone_searching___hanging on to 17%, and Bing seemed steady at 6%. The more exciting news is that compared to the 3rd quarter of 2008, this year saw a 10% increase in search marketing activity for the same time period. SearchIgnite analysts believe this bodes well for the important 4th quarter.

A related report from Efficient Frontier noted some stabilization in search market spending recently though obvious differences are occurring between industries.  Here are the most recent changes in spending on search advertising by industry from Efficient Frontier’s perspective:

  • Travel – down 39%
  • Retail – up 2%
  • Automotive – up 6%
  • Finance – up 7%

Even Goldman Sachs foresees an improved search market in the near term.  One of the investment firm’s search market analysts, James Mitchell, noted,” [d]iscussions with advertising agencies, including a dinner we hosted with senior agency executives, point to rising spending on Google since June, led by travel, clothing and home improvement advertisers.”

[Sources: SearchIgnite release, 10.12.09; Helft, Miguel, Studies Point to Growth for Search Ads, and for Bing, New York Times, 10.12.09]