The number of unique online advertisements in April rose 5.2% to 69,838, according to Nielsen//NetRatings' AdRelevance. That total has risen steadily month to month since January, after a consistent decline from April 2001 through the end of last year.
"After a long period of decline, people are putting ads out there," said Charles Buchwalter, VP-media research at Nielsen//NetRatings. Buchwalter said the findings are an early indicator that the online ad space is in recovery.
The company's list of the top 10 online advertisers continues to reflect more traditional marketers growing their number of unique ads online. The federal government, for example, increased its ads 60% from January to April.
"The thing that really surprised us was that every single advertiser whose total increased the most were traditional advertisers," Buchwalter said. "If this trend continues, I think it's the kind of news many in the online space have been waiting for."