A new report has revealed how much some of the world's biggest companies spent on their internet marketing services for search engines in the last quarter of last year, with Amazon topping the list.

The research, by Kantar Media, revealed that of the $3.4 billion (£2 billion) the paid search market was worth between October and December of last year, the online retail group spent $51 million, far ahead of the next highest investor in the area, which was telecommunications company AT&T, with $27 million.

With the last quarter of the year a key time period for ecommerce firms, the data showed "significant investment" from these organisations, with travel companies also featuring highly.

However, Kantar noted that financial services firms invested heavily in paid search, with four of the ten highest spending companies in the US coming from this sector.

Recently, it was stated by Nicholas Jarvis of Samson consulting that pay per click marketing is the most powerful form of advertising a business can use.

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