olks who make their living from Internet search converged last week on Silicon Valley to attend the Search Engine Strategies conference and celebrate the rollicking "search economy" at a party at Google headquarters with massive food and karaoke contests.

The red-hot growth of online social networks such as MySpace and video clip sites — YouTube shows 100 million videos daily — is playing a major part in fueling the growth. Both sites run ads from Google.

The search-advertising market, with its little text ads published near search listings, is expected to grow to $26 billion in 2010 from $17.4 billion this year, says market tracker Forrester Research. Google accounts for the biggest chunk. The company reported $6.1 billion in revenue last year and nearly $5 billion in the first two quarters this year.

No wonder people are celebrating.

"I put up a website, add the Google ads and wait for the money to start flying in," says Marc Ostrofsky, president of iREIT.com, a major purchaser of website domains. The company owns 400,000 sites, including MutualFunds.com and Bands.com. Fueled by Google ads, the sites generate more than $10 million a year, he says.

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