Google growing internet and digital advertising in Egypt

Digital advertising to transform branding and advertising in Egypt, says Google

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Google growing internet and digital advertising in Egypt ICT infrastructure has improved in Egypt recently, creating a growing online economy, says Google. (Getty Images)
By  Karen Leigh Published  January 16, 2011

The internet infrastructure in Egypt is rapidly expanding, with a key factor being Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat's takeover of the country's four biggest web companies, said Google's North African manager.

"They're improving their service in 3G and mobile solutions," Wael Fakharany told Arabian Business in an interview in Cairo. "We're trying to grow the whole ecosystem. As the market grows, we grow as well. The web isn't a zero-sum game."

He said that Egypt currently has 21 million internet users - compared to just 10 million for the rest of North Africa combined - and that 10% of Google users in the country access the web on their handheld wireless devices, which will grow the "internet infrastructure" even further.

Even traditional connections are reaching more and more Egyptians.

"Even if you have one DSL connection, it goes to the whole building, so there's 10 to 15 families behind that one cable," he said.

He cited a need for advertisers to start thinking digitally and realize a search engine's capabilities.

"We have to expand the user base, but we want to do more," he said. "We need to tell them there are nice tools they can use. We were a best-kept secret and now we want to get this ecosystem going."

Google relies mainly on ads for its revenue.

"If you look at Egypt's economy, there's a large number of smaller advertisers that represent a big part of [the Egyptian marketing sector] - I'd like these small advertisers to expand."

He said digital advertising could transform branding and advertising in the country.

"This is a way to send the right person to the right product and then see what he does after he sees the ad. Advertising then becomes a distribution channel. And that's the holy grail."

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