Google Plants Flag in Spain, Hits 150K Advertisers

Google continued to extend its tentacles Thursday, starting operations in Spain just one week after Overture Services flung open the doors of its own Spanish offices.

The rival paid-search providers have battled in a number of markets abroad, in both Europe and Asia. In Spain, Google will rely heavily on its Google.es domain, which is complemented by AdWords distribution deals with Ya.com, Elmundo.es, and Ozu.es. Google’s AdSense contextual paid links are distributed in Spain on Lycos Europe’s Tripod service.

In total, Google claims it will reach 60 percent of Spanish Internet users. In comparison, Overture boasts 71 percent reach, thanks to a distribution network that includes MSN, Tiscali, Lycos, Excite, and Wanadoo.

The company also said it now has 150,000 advertisers in its AdWords program, a 50 percent increase from when Google first quantified its advertiser base in March. Overture, in comparison, has about 95,000. Google does not disclose how many AdWords advertisers have opted out of AdSense, its contextual ad product, which some search optimization companies report generally performs more poorly than search listings.

Google also said its newly refreshed search toolbar is now available in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese. Overture’s AltaVista’s browser toolbar, which offers similar functionality as Google’s, comes in six languages, including Spanish.

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