Is Search Advertising Recession-Proof?

A recent article asked, “Is Search Recsssion-Proof?” The author cited research claiming that the average person spends an additional 87 minutes per day online during a recession. In more detail:

Apparently the surfing the Web is a form of “escapism” for consumers, with 76% of respondents citing the Internet as their primary means of escape — over such activities as reading books, watching movies, and taking walks. Furthermore, search engines were selected more than any other “types of websites visited more frequently during a recession” — nearly double the number of social networking sites.

And Google is showing an increase in paid search clicks–up 18% in Q3 over last year. That is cetainly good news for web search companies and the ecosystem of ad-supported sites that depend on them.

But online ad rates aren’t so oblivious to the broader economy. According to an article in Wired, online ad prices have recently hit the skids. Here’s a snap shot of ad rates over the past year.

While the relationship to the stock market is hardly perfect, there certainly seems to be some correlation. At the very least, it would give me pause before going around claiming that search advertising is recession-proof.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.