All signs point to search engine optimization becoming more important for companies as more people harness the power of the internet and use search more frequently. New research from JP Morgan predicts that worldwide search will grow in 2009, with internet queries increasing by 24 percent.

As the economic crisis causes more people to become cost conscious, JP Morgan anticipates that search usage will climb as people comparison shop to find the best deals on items.

Although the downturn in the global economy has hurt many industries, the company feels that search will profit.

"In the long term, we think the search market industry will benefit from the changes that result from this recession," the report states. "We think the rate of adoption of performance based advertising over more traditional forms, especially newspapers, has recently increased and that these shifts will be sticky."

One of the areas that JP Morgan sees growth in the new year is in personalized and vertical search, which the company expects to be "hot topics" in 2009.

The research comes amid widespread expectation that Google will roll out its Universal Search sometime this year in another sign that 2009 will be the year of personalized search.