Enabling Economic Opportunities Via The Web - by Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade

The internet today is transforming the world economy, creating economic opportunities that were not there before. From the Europe, Africa and to the rest of the world, the internet has now become a major force transforming and boosting collaborations among nations.

There are over 67 million Nigerians online today (ITU), all of them wanting access to information. By enabling people to discover information, online search platforms create economic opportunity, driving web traffic, advertising revenues and sales to businesses, content owners and publishers. And they do this in the fairest and most affordable way possible.
Levelling the Playing Field

Most people know about online search platforms like Google. We use them to find definitions, search for businesses, pictures, videos etc. What is less well known is that search engines also power highly successful advertising platforms that not only keep the search brands in business, but are also the lifeblood of many businesses trying to get ahead in the digital economy. One of these is Google’s online advertising product is Adwords.

Google AdWords enables businesses to advertise online in an affordable and fair way. Through text-based ads that appear next to user’s search queries, businesses can reach potential customers at a time when they are actively searching for goods and services. Programmes like AdWords have effectively levelled the playing field for marketers of all sizes. Businesses no longer need to worry about fighting for a place on the high street so that they can pay over the odds to be ‘seen’. They can use AdWords to target their consumers and users online at a time and cost of their choosing.

Driving Visibility

It’s often said in real estate that location is king. The same used to be true of businesses and content creators: unless your shop was in a prominent position on high streets, consumers would not walk in and purchase your goods; unless you were an author on the bestseller list, it was hard to promote your book. The Internet has changed all of that.

At the heart of online advertising’s offering to businesses large and small is its ability to drive visibility to their websites and content–and providing additional opportunities to earn revenue. Again, take Google for instance. As Google matches user interest and queries with relevant natural search results and sponsored links, newspapers, authors, and publishers are reaching more readers than ever before–their contents are no longer limited to local newsstand or bookstore. Publishers are taking advantage of this new visibility in multiple ways–from opening all of their content to readers, to creating pay-to-view or premium content accessed by subscription.

In addition, Google enables these content owners and publishers to make money out of their web content through AdSense. Google displays ads on thousands of publishers’ websites within and outside Nigeria, from large well-known newspapers to thought-leading bloggers to the local fashion sites – and these publishers keep the majority of the revenue generated. That means billions of dollars of advertising revenue for publishers partners across the world every year!

In the 15th Century, Richard III was King. In the 1950′s, Little Richard was King. But in the 21st century, Reach is King. And with more and more consumers going online, Online advertising provides content owners and businesses with unprecedented opportunities to reach a wider audience– and make money from doing so.

Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade is the Communication and Public Affairs Manager,Google Anglophone West Africa