Search engine marketing spending is set to diversify in 2004 as companies begin to spread their online marketing budgets among a wider selection of players, according to search engine marketing (SEM) specialist Agence Virtuelle. As the Search Engine Strategies Conference 2004 begins today in New York, Goggle’s position as the most popular search engine among both the public and advertisers is likely to come under increasing threat from existing competitors and the emergence of new search technologies.
Stéphane Perino, CEO of Agence Virtuelle, commented: “Google has enjoyed incredible success in the past three years and has in many ways powered the growth of Cost-Per-Click search marketing campaigns. However, in 2004 we are set to see both MSN and Yahoo launch new search technologies of their own. As a result, leading advertisers are going to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket and start running search campaigns across a number of search engines and portals rather than those just powered by Google.”
Agence Virtuelle is a specialist in running Cost-Per-Click (CPC) search marketing campaigns where “sponsored links” from advertisers appear in search results when specific keywords are entered into search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Agence Virtuelle works for companies including Colgate, Ebookers, and Energizer to run campaigns in multiple languages across Europe.
Stéphane Perino also believes that search engines as we know them could be set to change completely in the next 18 months, which could have a huge impact on online marketing: “The public have got used to traditional search engines providing a linear list of search results. However, we are already seeing the emergence of new ‘visual’ search engines such as www.kartoo.com that provide a ‘web’ of results where users can see how information on different web sites is related. This technology is likely to provide easier and more intelligent searching and could dramatically take search traffic from MSN, Yahoo and Google. It will also lead to a re-assessment of search engine advertising formats and payment methods.”