Senator John McCain has outspent Barack Obama for two consecutive months in online search advertising, it has been reported.

While Obama has spent more than McCain in overall campaign promotion, the Republican has invested more heavily in search engine advertising, research from Nielsen Online indicates.

Statistics for June demonstrate that McCain purchased seven million impressions – ensuring that his official site appeared alongside search results – in comparison to 1.15 million for Obama, web resource National Journal Online notes.

This represents an increase for the Republican – who bought 5.4 million in the previous month – and a decrease for Obama, from 1.8 million in the same period.

"We found that form of advertising, where you are getting people who are already looking for something, is a very cost-effective way of getting those people to our site and getting them to do the things we want them to do," e-campaign director Michael Palmer tells the publication.

Meanwhile, the social networking site MySpace recently announced that it is to launch a website devoted to the US presidential debates.