This month saw Google and Yahoo! announce their results for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Google posted strong revenues for the period, up 18 per cent on the previous year. However, its net income fell as a result of investment-related costs.

Meanwhile, Yahoo!’s results were not as disappointing as some analysts had expected, with steady sales year-on-year. However, it recorded a net loss for the quarter.

Earlier in the month, Yahoo! revealed that it had appointed former Autodesk boss Carol Bartz to the post of chief executive, succeeding Jerry Yang in the role.

Elsewhere, figures from Click Forensics suggested that click fraud rose to a 12-month high in the fourth quarter, while predictions from various analysts indicated that some are still hopeful over the performance of the internet marketing sector over the course of 2009, despite the deteriorating economy.

According to eMarketer, search marketing growth will still be strong as firms look to more accountable and measurable forms of advertising during the recession.

Imran Khan of JP Morgan also forecast sound growth for the search marketing sector as performance-based advertising becomes more important to businesses.

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