Google has said that it sees Pakistan as a US 500 million dollar (or Rs. 47 Billion) advertising market with 22 million internet users, which is larger than the population of Australia and Singapore.
Google said that it entertained 8 million search queries from Pakistan on Monday only (i.e September 10th, 2012).
This was revealed by Google executives during a media event held in Karachi.
Badar Khushnood, Google’s Country Consultant for Pakistan, who just spoke to me to clarify things, said that out of this total USD 500 million dollar market the online marketing spend is mere 1 percent or USD 5 million dollars – out of which Google has a notable share.
Google’s revenue includes the adword spending from Pakistani companies, but that is decreasing with time as businesses are now more inclined towards Facebook, news websites and niche portal for their advertising spends.
Still Google will keep playing a pivotal role in online advertisements in Pakistan due to their monopoly in Search Engine and heavily visited properties such as YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and others.
Despite only 13-15 percent internet penetration rate, Pakistani internet population of 23 million heads stand at 20th position in the world, making it a significant market for internet giants such as Google.
This large number of internet audience is apparently not enough to convince Google for getting its office working in the country.
Though the company has shown a great amount of interest in Pakistani market, evident from the visit of Google’s Chairman to Pakistan recently and now official visit of 6 regional executives from Google vesting Pakistan again, but Badar Khushnood, country consultant for Google, has denied the chances of Google opening its office in Pakistan anytime Soon.
Experts say that Google wants to operate in Pakistan through regional offices to avoid various kind of legal obligations and probably taxes too.
It maybe recalled that Google recently advertised at least two mid-level positions for managing business in Pakistan but said that positions will be based in Singapore.