The global spend on search engine marketing has risen by 30 per cent this year, a new report has indicated.

Authors of Marketing Sherpa’s 2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide have asserted that half of all online marketing spending is directed towards methods such as paid ads, search engine optimisation (SEO) and other search-related campaigns.

The report’s authors further indicated that SEO is increasingly being used as a marketing tool as it is seen to be more credible and adopted on a wider scale.

"Once considered something of a ‘dark art’, SEO is joining PR and email marketing as legitimate forms of inexpensive marketing," the executive summary of the 2009 Search Marketing Benchmark guide said.

Meanwhile, a recent report released by Dr Dave Chaffey of E-consultancy revealed that firms in the UK have now doubled their 2005 average spend on digital marketing.

The report, which came out earlier this month, indicated that 23 per cent of a firm’s average total marketing communications budget is invested into digital media channels.

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