It is said that pictures cannot lie. Maybe the same can be said about the words we use to conduct searches online. A December 2008 survey by ComScore revealed sharp increases in the frequency of search terms such as “bankruptcy” and “unemployment.” This trend reflects what is on the minds of many Americans today, and they are turning to the Web to find solutions to their problems. The ComScore survey also found evidence of how Americans are using the Internet as a tool to become better consumers. For example, the number of times “coupons” was used in searches skyrocketed from 7.6 million times to 19.9 million times in December.
These trends undoubtedly are garnering the attention of marketers that use paid search advertising and search engine optimization to drive traffic to their web sites. Consumers have a need for information on ways to save money and make money. And, the quest for this information is taking place on the Internet, not in a newspaper’s classified ads section or other traditional mass medium. All signs point to search advertising becoming a more prominent part of marketing communications budgets in the short and long term.