Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Google Adwords with a private label / White label

In Norway, several search engines are trying to compete with Google. They're having two basic problems:
  • Relevance
  • Ad platform
In terms of relevance, sesam.no is doing a great jobb. They are incorpating Norway specific content like telephone listings, company information and Norwegian newspapers. Sesam is taking advantage of their location.

Sesam's main problem is the ad platform. They currently use Yahoo Search Marketing, which is far inferior to the Google Adwords platform(even after they upgrade to the new Panama platform in Europe).

So Sesam basically has three choices:
  1. Build their own ad platform(which I think they're trying to do)
  2. Use Microsoft Adcenter, Yahoo Search Marketing or Ask's ad platform
  3. Approach Google and get a private label version of Google Adwords
If they choose option on, they will most likely fail just like Microsoft and Yahoo have with their "new" platforms. They've spent million of dollars on development and they're still far behind Google Adwords.

If they choose option two, they have a better chance of succeeding since they benefit from the resources of the larger players.

The last option of private labeling Google Adwords is the most interesting one. This option has probably not even been considered, since it may not be possible. I think it would be interesting to explore. The advantage to Sesam is that they would get a user friendly and scalable ad solution that would be easy to fill up with advertisers(because advertisers already know how to use it). The advantage to Google would be that their platform would become the standard for internet advertising(it probably will anyway..) and at the same time assisting a smaller player generate more revenues. If Google's goal is to make Adwords the standard platform for all internet advertising, it would be a great move.

As Sesam continues to burn money, another Norwegian search player is way off. I recently blogged about how Kvasir is failing to understand (in Norwegian) the importance of an automated ad solution and they responded that they thought is was really important that their "talented" sales people took care of their advertisers communication. To me that seems very strange since the majority of Google's revenues comes from the Google Adwords platform.