SEM in Australia Dominated by a Silent Google

    November 15, 2007

Internet companies down under are in a sticky situation. They’re handing Google about 80% of their search marketing spend, using Google for 82% of all online searches, and spending around AU$399 million a year. They’re playing nicely with Google, but Google refuses to play nicely back.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Google’s recently appointed Australian boss is refusing to give any details about the amount of money it takes in from Australian marketers and will only hint at the amount of future growth expected.

…the former Fairfax Media group director for magazines and commercial director for newspapers, Karim Temsamani, refused to reveal Google’s search advertising figures for the Australian market and said the non-disclosure policy would continue…

"We think the online market overall has been growing extremely strongly," Mr Temsamani said. "We have seen the numbers that have come out earlier this year and the predictions for next year, which are a little lower than the growth numbers that have been touted for 2007. We believe the market is going to grow as fast next year as it did this year across the total market."

Such comments from Google in Australia are rare and indicate its business is expanding fast enough to cover for the slowdown being experienced by some other big online publishers and portals.

With Google accounting for 80% of all search marketing spend, analysts estimates of AU$399M really are just a shot in the dark. Still, since when has Google ever provided information, when it doesn’t have to? ;-)