The strategy will be particularly rewarding once the economy bounces back, and your brand equity is suddenly head-and-shoulders above the competition's.

This point holds particular weight in the world of search as it becomes an increasingly critical shopping arena amid the worsening economy. Analyst David Hallerman from eMarketer explains it bluntly: "Customers are going to search engines because they are looking for better deals."

And if customers are flocking to search engines during a downturn, then capturing market share in a downturn means paying particularly strong attention to the search channel. If search is where the customers are, then you need to be in search to capture the customer market.

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