Although many forms of advertising and marketing have taken a hit because of the economy, a new mid-year survey finds that companies continue to spend on online marketing efforts like search engine optimization (SEO).

In the mid-2009 Client-Agency Economic Outlook Report from Reardon Smith Whittaker, companies appear to continue to be shifting marketing dollars from traditional outlets like print and radio to online marketing like search engine optimization (SEO) and social media.

According to the report, 32 percent of clients said they have increased their spending on search engine marketing so far in 2009 when compared to last year. Of that number, 9 percent called the increase "significant."

For advertising agencies this number is even higher, with 50 percent saying their search engine optimization (SEO) spend has been higher than 2008.
At the same time, print advertising is taking a hit from both clients and agencies with more than half of each saying their spending on print had fallen when compared to 2008. On the agency side the fall is more pronounced with 73 percent saying they are spending less on print this year – of that, 22 percent said the drop off was "significant."

These figures seem to match other recent studies finding that online marketing continues to grow despite the recession. A recent study from [x+1] found that 65.4 percent of companies say their search engine marketing (SEM) spending will stay the same or increase in 2009.