SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After recent years of gloomy forecasts, the outlook for advertising dependent Internet companies grew brighter on Thursday following Yahoo Inc.'s report of strong quarterly earnings.
Industry analysts said good times are here again and should stay. That bodes well for many companies, including search service Google Inc. and its widely expected stock offer.
"The whole sector is responding very positively," said Greg Stuart, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau. "A lot of those middle-content guys tell me they're up 40 percent to 70 percent this year from last year," he said, referring to Web sites that bring in online ad revenue of about $25 million to $100 million a year, such as those put up by The Washington Post, Forbes and The New York Times.
Moreover, a December study by the Pew Internet Project showed the number of Web users continues to grow as people discover more things to do online, gain experience and utilize new applications like music downloading and online banking.