Google Ripping Through Italian Directories Market

    March 3, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Seat Pagine Gialle (Seat PG) feels the impact of Google on its advertising business, suffering on the Italian stock market as a result.

News of Seat PG’s CFO Maurizia Squinzi opting to depart the company in favor of a similar gig at a real estate firm can’t bode well for the multimedia profile advertising company.

A Forbes report, citing Italian publication Corriere della Sera, said Seat PG’s fortunes fell 50 percent over the past five years. More pressure on Seat PG’s print-voice-online directories isn’t helping, and Google sees its chance:

“According to latest Nielsen (market research) data, Internet users in Italy are 24.3 million a month,” said Google’s Italy country manager Massimiliano Magrini, cited by the newspaper.

“A significant figure which represents a big opportunity also for directories that can reach their own targets in a way complementary to their traditional (directory) planning,” he said.

Seat PG may be having trouble finding that complementary solution, or at least attracting customers to what they can do. Google outdraws everyone in Italy, with Forbes noting it is the country’s most visited site. Fewer people read print, while more see Google’s advertising. It’s not hard to see who will win between Seat PG and Google.