Even the once-booming online advertising niche has proved vulnerable during the recession.
Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a new report yesterday, pegging the country's online advertising revenue at $10.9 billion through the first six months of 2009. That hefty number nonetheless represents a 5.3% decline from the first half of 2008.
Despite the dip, there's good news for Google
The good news for the industry ends there, though. Display advertising took a small hit, and that's grim news for Yahoo!
The biggest year-over-year plunges took place in online classifieds, email, and referrals. This should be problematic to shareholders of affiliate marketer ValueClick
The one saving grace in the report is that all of these companies have already posted results for their March and June quarters. The bad news is already out there. As long as these negative trends reverse during the second half of the year, all these companies should bounce back.
Investors who would rather not take chances, and go with the market segments that have proven to be somewhat recession-resistant, have very few choices. They can buy Google, or extend the trend abroad by snapping up international paid-search leaders such as China's Baidu
Paid search commands a thick 47% slice of the online advertising pie, and it's still growing domestically. You don't want to bet against that.
Are you buying Internet stocks these days? Which ones? Why? Share your tips in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of Google; it would be his homepage, if not for Fool.com. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.