Google Plays Down Paid Search Decline; Seeks Display Ad Dominance

Ever since news broke about a slowdown in growth of paid click advertising, Google’s stock has been falling — drastically. But yesterday, sounding like a schoolboy with an exposed weakness, Google’s Tim Armstrong offered up a “We meant to do that” defense. Speaking to the Bear Sterns conference in Palm Springs, Fla., Google’s North American President of Advertising and Commerce said the focus on YouTube distracted paid search growth.

Armstrong also shared Google’s desire to dominate display advertising by gaining a “very significant position” in the market by 2008-2009. The statement came less than a week after Steve Ballmer declared Microsoft’s intentions to catch Google in the online advertising game. Google’s aspirations should be helped by the EU’s approval of Google’s DoubleClick acquisition, which occurred earlier today.

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