Google, the award-winning US-based search engine, has opened a London office this week to meet “online advertising market demands in the UK”.
The company says its UK advertising policy will be in line with the unobtrusive editorial style that has endeared Google to millions of Web users. The UK sales office will “help thousands of advertisers to reach end-users without affecting the user’s overall search experience,” says a Google spokeswoman.
Google works closely with advertisers to develop text-based ads that match users’ search queries, resulting in a “highly targeted” service that it claims produces an average click-through rate four to five times higher than the industry average.
It specialises in “highly visible but non-intrusive” ads on the search results page. This, it claims, ensures users only receive information that is relevant to their search terms.
Omid Kordestani, senior vice-president of business development and sales at Google, says: “Google recognises that the UK is an important market for advertising opportunities and that as Internet users become increasingly sophisticated, we have to find more efficient ways to target them.
“Google is a results-focused company.We aim to deliver the best search results to users while also delivering targeted advertising information with our text-only model. We are very excited about the opportunities that exist in Europe and will expand our operations in the UK in line with our growth as a company.”
Google has appointed Kate Burns as head of advertising sales in the UK. Burns was previously responsible for the ad sales divisions at AltaVista, ZDNet, Yahoo! and DoubleClick.
Google’s UK advertisers include Lloyds, Screentrade, Volvo, Ford, BT Genie and QXL.
The Google search engine serves about 120 million searches per day, with about half of these performed on the company’s main website – www.google.com (rather than country-specific sites such as Google.co.uk). In the UK, Google was recently listed as the eighth-top Web property by Nielsen/NetRatings.