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Online advertising grew 17% during the past quarter with business turning to vertical web sites, as consumers search for specific information.

Online advertising grew 17% during the past quarter with business turning to vertical web sites, as consumers search for specific information.

The data, from Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia in its Online Advertising Expenditure Report -compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers – showed online expenditure for the first three months of 2011 totalled $601 million – the largest ever Q1 result.

Both search-and-directories and classifieds achieved a record performance, with search-and-directories recording 23 percent growth year-on-year, while classifieds increased 19 percent.

Search and directories now accounts for 54.2 percent of online advertising expenditure, representing $326 million, with classified accounting for 24.2 percent ($145million) and display advertising recording 21.6 percent ($129million).

The finance, motor vehicles, computers and communications sectors continued as the dominant users of general display advertising, with 38.7 percent of display spending.

Video-based advertising maintained strong growth, recording $8.44million for the first quarter, up from $5.7million in Q1 2010. E-mail based advertising comprised $8.52 million for the quarter.

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