Is SEO’s Growth Killing Print Advertising?

Finger on the Pulse

Blue Fountain Media has received an advanced copy of Econsultancy & SEMPO’s forthcoming State of Search Engine Marketing Report 2010. The report is based on a world-wide survey of over 1,500 advertisers (companies) and advertising agencies across a wide range of business sectors.

SEO’s Double Digit Growth

The SEO/SEM industry grew 8% to $14.6 Billion in 2009. This year things are expected to be even better as the industry will grow by 14% to $16.6 Billion. But where’s all that money coming from?

How SEO Killed the Newspaper

Companies and agencies are increasing SEO, SEM, and Social Media Marketing budgets at the expense of other advertising spending. This is particularly true of print advertising like newspapers and magazines.

Of the companies re-allocating budgets to search engine marketing, around half (49%) are moving it from print advertising. More than a third (36%) are shifting money from direct mail, and almost a quarter are moving budgets from conferences and exhibitions (24%) and web display advertising (23%).

Agencies see the print advertising sector even more heavily hit, with 69% of supply-side respondents noticing a shift of budget from newspapers and magazines into search engine marketing.

Perhaps the single biggest loser in the move away from print is the phone book industry. SEMPO’s survey found 85% of agencies see local search as a significant trend.

Why bother with newspapers or The Yellow Pages when you could just sign up for a free listing on Google Maps or do a cool Mayor offer on Foursquare?


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  1. It’s not surprising to see companies re-directing their money away from print advertising (it’s actually kind of hard to believe that, in 2010, there’s still such a thing as a phone book at all), but I find it interesting that web display advertising would be down as well.

  2. Stephanie said:

    I guess I may be one of the few left who still appreciates print media of all types–from ads to prose to phone books. Though it may be easier to look things up online, there’s still something appealing about holding a tangible object and researching the old fashioned way. I love the public library. As far as advertizing is concerned, some people don’t pay attention to it one way or another. What’s the point when the economy is so stark that nobody has money to spend on the things they need; let alone the extras they don’t.

  3. SEO killing it? I would say SEO is more effective than print advertising, so yes, if that means “killing” it, then yes.

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