Digital advertisers are continuing to use search as a marketing tool because it offers good return on investment, even during the recession, it has been suggested.

According to Karin von Abrams, a senior analyst at eMarketer, the industry is likely to see an "increasing commitment to search", even once the downturn is over and the online economy has recovered and despite other formats emerging, such as video and rich media.

Speaking at the technology conference ad:tech London, Ms von Abrams noted that "search does seem to have proven to be in the downturn the real bedrock of online advertising", adding that it was likely this growth would continue for the next few years.

Her comments follow a survey from ZenithOptimedia, which revealed that those involved in internet marketing services saw their industry survive better than expected in the first quarter of the year. The study also predicted that most of the expansion seen in internet advertising will come from paid search.

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