Although the nation continues to struggle through a recession and companies look to cut budgets, it appears that the search engine marketing world is still in a state of growth as ad coverage appears to have increased for the first quarter of 2009.

According to a report released this week from AdGooRoo, there was a significant increase in the average number of ads shown per keyword during the first three months of the year – reaching a high of 5.5 in February.

While these statistics do not show how ad spending has been affected during the first quarter, AdGooRoo says ad coverage has historically been an indicator of search revenue.

The report also found a surprising increase in the number ads on Yahoo, which saw a 10 percent increase in active first-page advertisers. It appears that this increase may have been at the direct expense of Microsoft and the company expects to see strong figures from Yahoo in April.

Yahoo and Microsoft appear to be fighting it out for second place in the search engine world, but many signs show Yahoo falling behind – despite the predictions from AdGooRoo.

Microsoft appears poised to launch a new search engine service in the next few months and plans to spend a reported $100 million on an ad campaign behind it. The company also beat out Yahoo and Google earlier this week for a seven-figure ad campaign with the cable channel Discovery which will feature ads on a variety of the company’s mediums, including its search engine.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.