PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE
Portland Google executive Alan M. Moss, director of online sales for the Americas, stopped by Southeast Portland in late May as part of an effort by Google to publicize its massive economic impact. After the event Moss sat down with managing editor Ben Jacklet.
What brings you to Oregon?
Over the years we’ve said that Google has a material impact on state economies and the national economy. When we’ve made those statements folks have asked us to show them the money. So we went and quantified the impact of our Google AdWords, AdSense and Google Grants on state economies. In Oregon the impact was $512 million.
Are you counting actual advertisers or are you doing modeling?
It’s based on data that for every dollar spent on Google Adwords our advertisers receive a return of $2 back, a pretty good ROI by any measure. Also on the organic search results there’s a lot of clicks, although they are not as effective as AdWords.
How do you explain that greater than 100% return?
We have a very transparent and measurable business model that allows advertisers to understand the effectiveness of every click that they receive to refine their approach based on results.
Is AdWords geared toward small businesses specifically? Is there a certain type of business that really benefits from it, and maybe not so much with other businesses?
It works for businesses of all sizes. If you step back and look at how people spend their time, whether it’s at work or at home, on the computer or on mobile devices, there’s no doubt that a lot of us are spending our time online. Large and small businesses alike are seeing that and harnessing the opportunity to reach their audiences using Google.
How do these new devices change things?
What will be exciting is seeing how people use the different devices. Through the Internet we have a good amount of information about what device someone is using at a particular time, to refine ads for our advertisers and deliver them in new ways. I would say the best is yet to come.
It will be tricky, won’t it? It may become overwhelming for people to be constantly targeted so specifically by advertisers.
It is a fine line, but our view at Google is that when advertising is done right, it’s additional information that you as a user value. We test a lot of different formats, we listen to our users and then we refine our approach in a way that adds value to their experience. If no one is searching, then it doesn’t work for anyone, including us.
What kind of potential does Oregon have as an expanding market?
Oregon is very much in the innovation corridor with companies like Intel and Nike. It’s really up to the folks in Oregon to use their creativity, follow their passions and build their own enterprises using the tools we offer.