TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Google to Keep Focus on Web Search

Google to Keep Focus on Web Search

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 26 Sep 2006 14:53:58 -0500

Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG - news) is unlikely to make any major
investments in original content, choosing instead to keep its focus on
Internet search, a top executive from the Web powerhouse said on

Tim Armstrong, vice president of advertising sales, said Google viewed
itself "as an operator of the Web" rather than a company that would
produce original text, films or images.

"We don't really have a ton of serious conversations about creating
content," Armstrong said during a panel discussion at an Interactive
Advertising Bureau event in New York. Instead, he said, Google would
prefer to stick with "getting users where they want to go."

Another Web media company, Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news), has shown
more interest in moving into original programming, ranging from news
to columns.

But even Yahoo executives have repeatedly said they do not intend to
recreate television on the Web, envisioning instead a new
entertainment venue that plays up the interactivity of the Internet.

Meanwhile, speaking on the same panel, Yahoo Executive Vice President
of Global Media Sales Greg Coleman said concerns about a slowdown in
Internet advertising could be overblown.

"People can use the word slowdown, but it gets taken out of context,"
he said, pointing out that many of the largest 200 companies are still
increasing their advertising on the Web, often from relatively low

"We don't see a slowdown in that activity whatsoever," he said. Yahoo
recently warned that financial and auto advertising had eased off.

Another executive, Michael Kelly, president of AOL Media Networks
(NYSE:TWX - news), said he saw no deceleration in advertising.

"I don't think there is an industry slowdown," Kelly said. "Think
about how many more sales forces are out on the streets today."

In a report this week, research firm eMarketer forecast online ad
spending will rise 26.8 percent this year to $15.9 billion, marking a
slowdown from rates of 30 percent and above in the past two years.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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