There’s been “absolutely phenomenal growth in search” marketing spend in the first six months of 2011, according to the latest report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Australia. And CEO Paul Fisher says “there’s still a lot more” to come. Best estimates – Google, which has 90%+ market share, does not share its figures – are that search spend has increased at least 30% year on year. There’s no doubt travel is the leading the search charge, although the industry is going cold on display.

The IAB PwC Online Advertising Expenditure report shows that the travel industry’s share of Australia’s online display spend has dropped from 6.7% to 5.6% in the past 12 months.

Fisher says overall online ad spend was up 20% and that most of the money is coming across from newspapers, still the dominant advertising medium but in decline, with 28% of all ad spend compared with 33% six years ago.

This is a trend that will continue although the newspaper companies are both winners and losers as they own an increasing number of websites.

Fisher says online ad spend is now at 17% of the total market, newspapers 28%, free TV 26%, print directories 9%, radio 7%, magazines 5%, outdoor 4%.

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