Search revenue rose 4% to $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to IAB. The industry group reported display-related advertising--banner, rich media, video and sponsorship--accounted for $2.3 billion or 37% of total revenue during the quarter of 2009, up nearly 15% from the $2 billion, or 33%, reported in the year-ago quarter.
The advertising industry went through the recession toward the end of 2008 and through 2009. Ad spending slowed. During this time display and search ads were basically flat, Fulgoni says. "Then companies started spending more on advertising as the economy began to improve, but we came out on the other side of the downturn to see display out sell search," he says. "It struck me as odd because search had been growing faster."