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Web Ad Spending to Surge 10.8%

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Online advertising spending will surge 10.8 percent in 2010 to $25.1 billion, according to a new report by the digital researcher eMarketer. That double-digit growth prediction would seem to provide a clear sign that the market has bounced back from a rough 2009, during which eMarketer tracked nearly a 5 percent spending decline.

In fact, the 10.8 figure is nearly double eMarketer’s previous spend growth estimate of 5.5 percent. The faster-than-expected growth in the U.S. economy, along with a demonstrated willingness by businesses to increase spending in Q1, both contributed to the revised estimate, says the report.

Interestingly, considering the ever-increasing array of choices for digital media buyers -- including ad exchanges and networks -- the Web’s biggest portals and search engines still dominate. eMarketer projects that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL will garner 58.5 percent of U.S. online ad spending in 2010.

The lion’s share of dollars should once again go to Google, according to the report. Google’s revenue rose 21 percent in Q1, another sign that the market was on the way up, given Google’s prominence. Per the report, 49.3 percent of all online dollars are allocated to search advertising, which is overwhelmingly Google’s core business.

Search will continue to command the largest percentage of new dollars coming online over the next few years, according to the report.

The next hottest category? Online video advertising, which eMarketer predicts will account for a third of the  $13.6 billion-plus incremental dollars that enter the online ad market from 2010 through 2014.