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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Walla! Takes On Google Ads

First Quigo takes on the Google Goliath, then Merlin throws its hat into the ring, and now Walla! has decided to assist in the triple team lineup against the search engine king.

Can Google survive?

(Globes Online) Walla Communications Ltd. (TASE: WALA) has launched its new pay-per-click advertising service AdVantage. The launch came after numerous delays and postponements. The system resembles the pay-per-click system used by Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG). Walla! will charge a minimum of NIS 0.05 per click.

Advertisers choose keywords for their ad campaigns and set the price they will pay per click. The system calculates this figure, together with additional data, such as content suitability, and past performance, to determine which advertisements to display and in which order. An advertiser can monitor keyword and ad performance at every stage via a management interface and portal control.

Although long overdue, Walla! is probably trying to get its act together after being dethroned as the number one Israeli site by Google Israel. With Google recently becoming a bit more Kosher, Walla! may have a fight on its hands as it seeks to regain itself as the top portal in Israeli cyberspace.

It will be interesting to see over the next few months which company will come on top, and how Google reacts to this (increasingly) crowded field. In my opinion though, unless Walla! (and similar) companies begin to allow smaller sites to display their advertising, they may only wind up in second place at best against the internet behemoth known as Google.

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