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SEARCH MARKETING: Contextual search

Most of us use search at some point in our working day. "Whether it's to procure a new service or find a new supplier of office products. In short, the use of search marketing in B2B is essential," says Gary Hawkins, board account director at advertising agency RLA Group. This is supported by research undertaken by agency Neutralize, where online marketing was revealed to account for 31 per cent of total marketing budgets.

On the whole, this has involved natural search and pay-per-click (PPC) or sponsored search using the right hand results column of the search engine results page. The survey reports that this accounts for 94 per cent of the search marketing budget. However, this is changing. Andrew Hood, MD at online marketing agency Lynchpin, says, "SEO is becoming more competitive and click costs are rising. This is causing marketers to look elsewhere and we are now witnessing the emergence and growth of some interesting new forms of search marketing. I expect these to grow rapidly in the next 12 months."

There are many new methods. There is local search, where results are restricted to a specific location, mobile search which can be done from a mobile phone and image search where we search for images rather than words. Then there are newsfeeds, map searches, socio-economic searches and demographic searches. And so the list grows.