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Mobile Advertising Upside Forecast to $5B

Search engine marketing (SEM) is truly pervasive. Just as search became critical on the desktop, search will become increasingly important in the mobile space.

The growth of consumer options to search on-deck and off-deck, SMS, and via branded or white-label search providers in the mobile domain has created opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers through sponsored search opportunities.

ABI Research believes mobile search advertising growth will be driven by this escalating array of options, as total search related mobile advertising expands from $813 million in 2008 to $5 billion by 2013.

"We are seeing strong growth of mobile search services within an on-portal and off-portal context," says ABI Research director Michael Wolf. "However, given the constraints of mobile platforms and the specific needs of mobile users, mobile search services -- and the integration of advertising -- need to be thought out carefully by branded providers, white-label search vendors, and carriers."

The growth of mobile search related advertising will be strong across many regions, with Asia-Pacific showing the greatest overall gains. On-portal, off-portal, and SMS-based search will be important drivers of search related advertising, with total SMS searches growing from 13 billion in 2008 to over 76 billion by 2013.

Branded providers such as Yahoo and Google see the importance of the mobile platform, as the overall population of Internet users on mobile devices exceeds that of PC-based Internet users.

While mobile search incorporates more contextually relevant information such as location, consumers will increasingly look to search as a way to discover content and pertinent information that could drive purchasing behavior.

Providers that can supply the most applicable solutions tailored toward mobile users will ultimately win a major share of the addressable mobile SEM marketplace.

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