How much will search engine advertising increase in 2006?

You know, as I was going through my normal routine this afternoon, I stumbled across this story from the SEWBlog . In it they reference a study by Outsell, Inc. of where advertisers are moving online. They made the prediction that search engine advertising will grow by an estimated 26% in 2006. I thought to myself, is it possible to have that much growth in SEM in one year. Particularly when it comes to the marketing economy, there are a lot of factors to consider (Too many to document in one place).

But if you will consider the few facts below and examine the current trends of marketing today, I think it is fully possible and most likely accurate. Think about the few facts below:

PPC Ad Impressions Grow 16% in 6 Months
This was an article also posted by the SEW blog about a Neilson/NetRatings study that found significant growth in the PPC sector of SEM (even while many users of Google’s Adwords complained of click fraud, and issue that Google has addressed very well).

Then there’s the famed “Google Pontiac” ad that premiered during Super Bowl XL. In it, the marketing experts at GM tell you to not take their word for it, but to Google the word “Pontiac” and see for yourself. This led to a keyword counter-attack by Mazda using sponsored links inviting web surfers to make a true comparison between the two. If this isn’t an interesting method of competitive marketing, I don’t know what is.

Next, I’d like to mention the story I posted a few days ago regarding the estimated $1 Billion that Adsense publishers made off of PPC advertising. And that number is expected to rise by at least 15%.

Last but not least, I’d like to point out the story I posted about the number of online searches that increased by 55% in December over the previous December. This makes a very strong point that SEM is on the way up.

In brief conclusion, I think the 26% increase in search advertising is quite accurate (if not modest).