ZA Group in association with Google South Africa hosted a business breakfast on the 4th of September 2009. Presenting was Google South Africa country manager, Stephen Newton.  Newton is the former Google head of analytics & commerce for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Before joining Google, he was Vice President of Double Click’s Ad Exchange and General Manager of Hitwise UK. His talk covered the following;

Google Maps – Streetview

Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps that allows users to explore and navigate areas through panoramic street-level images. Stephen mentioned that South African businesses could benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their websites for free, helping them to promote their businesses and raise awareness. It was also mentioned that this feature would be beneficial to tourists coming to South Africa for the FIFA 2010 World cup as it would help them navigate easily. It was also noted that the process of collecting and processing the images would take several months and would be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps for South Africa.

Google Adwords

Stephen talked about the flexibility of Adwords mentioning how advertisers can spend as little or as much money they want, all depending on their advertising budget available. Newton also explained how AdWords allows advertisers to set up their targeted national regions, targeted language and country. Adwords distribution is one topic in which a bit of time was spent on explaining how ads are shown on the content and search networks. In conclusion Stephen Newton explained how Google remains committed and excited about improving access to information for local South African users.