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Paid-search spending on the rise

Spending on paid search snaps back to its pre-recession levels, rising 14 percent year over year in the second quarter, according to SearchIgnite.

Paid search is the Web's latest sector bouncing back from the recession.

Spending on paid search in the U.S. grew 14 percent in the second quarter and 11 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same periods in 2009, according to a report released Tuesday by SearchIgnite. The company, which offers search optimization and online media services, found that the latest numbers for pay-per-click (PPC) and other types of paid search signaled the strongest growth for the sector since the fourth quarter of 2008.

"Search has bounced back from recession level lows and is poised for a very strong second half," Roger Barnette, CEO of SearchIgnite, said in a statement. "We've seen a marked increase in activity across our clients this year, with nonretail marketers bolstering their search investments for the first time since 2008."

The paid search market has also become less dependent on growth in the retail industry, according to the report. Spending on paid searches in the retail area grew 7 percent in the second quarter, less than the growth seen by the overall paid search sector. This also marked the first period in more than a year in which nonretail spending on search grew more than than its retail counterpart, SearchIgnite said.

The report also broke down the figures by specific search engine.

Spending for searches at Bing jumped 26 percent in the second quarter year over year, giving Microsoft's search engine a 6.2 percent share of the paid search market in the U.S.

At Yahoo, spending on search rose 3 percent from the prior year's quarter, garnering a 15.4 percent slice of the market.

And spending at Google climbed 15.9 percent from 2009's second quarter, handing it the largest chunk of the market at 78.4 percent.

To generate the report, SearchIngite tracked more than 55 billion impressions (the number of times an ad is viewed) and 1 billion actual clicks on Google, Yahoo, and Bing from January 1, 2006, through June 30, 2010.