Google is increasing its mobile ad sales team in Europe and promoting opportunities with geo-targeting, as European antitrust investigators ask advertisers whether Google suggested increased spending with the company would result in improved visibility in its search results.
"Google is bolstering its European mobile sales team in a bid to promote its mobile ad channels, such as geo-targeting, to brands and agencies," New Media Age reported. They were told by Google that their European ad sales team would be increased five fold by March 2011.
Google has been pushing its Places pages and local search to small businesses in the United States, could US success be motivating the increase in sales personnel in Europe?
"A "disproportionate amount of effort" in Google's mobile push will be directed at raising awareness of the high returns of geo-targeted display ads," Ian Carrington, Google's mobile ad sales director, told New Media Age.
Add to this the fact Asia and Western Europe are the two biggest growing mobile ad marketings and the push is not surprising.
Meanwhile, the EU has sent out a questionnaire that included the question: "Has Google ever mentioned to you that increasing your advertising spending could improve your ranking in Google's natural search?"
Obviously, it's full steam ahead in Europe regardless of investigations in to Google's business practices. The advertising business is there now and the company isn't waiting to see what happens with other distractions.
Other questions asked "shines light on possible concerns harbored by officials about Google's potential to wield power over advertising on mobile devices, which are fast becoming one of the main ways to access the Web," The New York Times noted.
NYT stated that Al Verney, a spokesman for Google, said the company "worked hard to do the right thing by our users and our industry -- ensuring that ads are always clearly marked, making it easy for users and advertisers to take their data with them when they switch services and investing heavily in open-source projects." Mr. Verney added that "there's always going to be room for improvement, and so we'll be working with the commission to address any concerns."
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!