Search marketing will grow aggressively this year. Data from Forrester Research’s market survey last quarter show that 60 percent of marketers (from a base of 364 marketers) currently use search, with another 20 percent expecting to pilot it within 12 months. Along with growth in the adoption of search marketing, we will see a few other issues.

First is the rising cost of keywords. More marketers bidding on the same keywords are driving up costs per click. Next is the overlap between search and other forms of online advertising. Search is, in essence, behavioral targeting: showing people an ad when they are doing a behavior — searching for a particular term — that indicates they are a likely target customer. We will see more types of display ads purchased in a similar way, more players trying to sell ads based on behaviors, and search players like Google continuing to extend their reach outside of traditional search marketing.

Finally, this overlap of the search and online ad models will increase marketer confusion and boost spending on professional services, bid management tools and marketing optimization help to make sense of the “search” marketing space.

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