Paid Link Spending Per Industry by Nielsen

SMS Text

Yesterday Search Engine Watch covered the Nielsen break down of the amount of spending by industry for ‘sponsored links’ and ‘text links’ in online advertising. At first glance, I thought the numbers would be based upon ‘sponsored text links’ or ‘paid links’, which would have been an interesting overview, but nonetheless, the Nielsen numbers do show which verticals are spending the most on sponsored links search, as defined by Nielsen:

Text-based ads that often appear as a result of a keyword search either on a search engine or associated site. These ads are often displayed alongside natural search results but identified under specified headers (e.g., “Paid Sponsor”, “Sponsored Link”, “Sponsored Sites” or “Sponsored Results”).

However, I also see a category for Image/Text Link, which has less spending and would probably include paid links:

Standard Image/Text Link: Ads that are comprised of many components, typically both image and text beneath the images, all of which link to the same destination URL.

nielsen online advertising paid links

Not to knock Nielsen, as they are probably doing their best, but I’m sure this cannot be 100% reflective of the paid linking market which takes place in the open on some linking networks but mostly under the table and is a huge mix of editorial, ad fees, paid services and other practices which help to acquire those juicy links. The industry breakdown for 2007 does let us into the vertical trends and identify, perhaps as publishers, which markets gather the most money for text links, especially compared to their display ad and sponsored search counterparts, and which do not.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Manish Pandey

    Nice information Loren, thanks for putting up here.

    I get the feeling that Indian market would also be lucrative. Lets see if FICCI could provide us some stats like this.

  • Jason Murphy

    Inetresting, thanks for the info Loren. I’m interested in the breakout of Local vs. National companies spending statistics.

    With companies like ReachLocal and others marketing local search I wonder if that traffic (assuming the ad campaigns work) will further increase the pricing of Ad units or if it will in fact have a negative impact as businesses may find more value investing PPC Local search campaigns.


  • Brian Turner

    Personally I think the value in these figures isn’t so much the “test link” spend, which seems to refer to PPC, as much as general spending trends for different sectors.

    In short, it’s a rough guide to which sectors could be the most lucrative on the web, for webmasters to reference.

    And just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also set up some of the figures by sector as charts here: