16 Oct 2012

Local firm snares Google hook-up

7:56 am on 16 October 2012

Gopher, a digital advertising business, has become the third New Zealand firm to partner with Google's advertising product, Google AdWords.

The company makes it easier for small and medium-sized firms to be found online and has customers in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia.

Nearly 170,000 businesses are listed on its directory in New Zealand, the bulk of which have a free listing, but the company does fixed price packages for companies which want to get more exposure through online directories, social media and search functions.

The company's headquarters and new product and technology development is in Auckland, from where it services the New Zealand and Australia markets.

It also has offices in Jakarta, which looks after the Indonesia market, and will shortly expand into Thailand.

Google AdWords displays companies ads at the precise moment potential customers are carrying out a search, but it partners with a small number of firms which help businesses maximise AdWord campaigns.

Gopher chief executive John Campbell says Google doesn't let just anyone partner with it and has tough criteria, such as working with companies which have equally ambitious growth targets and putting partners through rigorous checks and testing.

"In order to become a partner you need to not only meet the criteria but exceed it, which is why it is difficult to get one of these partnerships," he says.