It is likely that spending on search engine marketing will continue unabated during 2008, despite the current economic background, a new report has asserted.

A study conducted by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (Sempo) has been released, which examines the current state of the market.

It noted that during 2007, the industry experienced greater growth than had been anticipated, leading the organization to conclude that spending on search engine marketing will grow to $25.5 billion in North America alone by 2011.

Furthermore, the research commissioned by Sempo and conducted by Radar Research revealed that the increased online spending is happening at the cost of other marketing tactics such as advertising in print media.

Marketers are shifting the "portions of their spending pie", it commented, in order to follow "consumers as they increasingly rely on search engines to conduct pre-purchase research".

Commenting on the findings and predictions, Gord Hotchkiss, chairman of Sempo and president of Enquiro Search Solutions, told Search Engine Land that the most interesting aspect of the research was discovering that there is continued optimism about the industry from those working within it.

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.