While the economic environment is still fragile, internet marketers may rejoice to hear the news that the search engine marketing sector has proven robust in the second quarter of 2010. Efficient Frontier’s latest Search Engine Performance Report shows that the SEM industry posted 9.7 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in Q2 2010. The sector also showed 24 percent year-over-year growth last quarter.

Marketers who want to turn this news into job opportunities should look to the retail industry to find work. The report shows retail is leading gains in online ad spend, with 38 percent growth over 2009 and 16 percent growth over last quarter. Companies in this sector may soon get even more aggressive in their SEM campaigns as the study reveals that retail ad impressions are up 65 percent over last year.

Travel is another industry that may be looking to hire marketers soon. The sector showed a 10 percent year-over-year increase in ad spend. Still, the report indicates travel’s rising ad spend may be linked to increased CPC rates, where the retail industry’s gains are due to strong consumer and advertiser demands.

Analysts for Efficient Frontier say the growth in Q2 2010 is a positive indication of things to come for the SEM industry. “We see the demand for online performance marketing continuing into 2011, especially in the areas of search, display and social media,” said Efficient Frontier President David Karnstedt.

Another online marketing realm that is expected to see significant gains in ad spend this year is video. A report from Magid shows that 55 percent of internet users prefer video ads over conventional television spots.