Advertisers will spend about $4.1 billion this year on search marketing programs, according to a research paper released by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, a non-profit professional association. The paper, "The State of Search Engine Marketing 2004," is based on research conducted by Executive Summary Consulting. Search engine marketing is popular among real estate agents and companies who want to advertise to prospective clients starting their home searches at the major Web portals and search pages like Yahoo!, Google, AOL and MSN. The $4.1 billion figure comprises payments to search engines and search-related media companies, search engine marketing agencies as well as in-house expenditures in support of such programs, including "paid placement," "paid inclusion," "organic search engine optimization" and "search engine marketing technology platforms." Research relied on an extensive survey of 288 search engine advertisers and marke...
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