What does the future hold for search advertising? Thousands of people attending the recent Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York packed the conference hall to hear Danny Sullivan explore this very topic with executives from Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Ask's IAC.

Attendees of this session likely walked away with the impression that the future of search advertising looks quite bright. Yes, the growth rate may be slowing... but it certainly isn't coming to a halt anytime soon. Media budgets are shifting as search is being integrated into the overall marketing mix. Marketing agencies and large advertisers are embracing this channel, and search networks are working on new distribution channels, ad formats and pricing models. All this creates opportunities for advertisers, agencies and specialists of all kinds.

Most telling was the fact that Danny was talking with executives from not one company, or two, or even three... but from the FIVE leading search ad networks. Clearly, search advertisers have more choices than ever before, and this increased competition means that the networks are under pressure to listen to their customers (both advertisers and users), continue to innovate and deliver better and better results. What a good thing.

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