Six search firms -- SearchIgnite, Clickable, iCrossing, Covario, Range Online Media and IPG's Initiative -- held a conference call with Citibank analyst Mark Mahaney last week, to talk about advertiser spending and search trends in Q1. The goal was to help gauge what impact, if any, the economic downturn was having on the search industry. Henry Blodget says that it's a glass half- empty/half-full forecast.
The firms generally agreed that search advertising trends remain strong. "Search volumes remain robust, and advertising clients continue to shift greater share of ad budgets to search," Blodget said. Still, the group "appeared to acknowledge some search-spending weakness."