Search Goes On

NEW YORK Companies often go back to basics in lean times. That’s a message Google’s new ad leader, Dennis Woodside, plans to convey to marketers.

Woodside, 40, said that despite the fast growth of search advertising over the past seven years, much more can be done to tap into its potential, particularly as the pressure to prove ad effectiveness grows.

“There are still huge opportunities in search,” he said in an interview at Google’s office here. “There are clients still not understanding the scale of the opportunity.”

Google is pushing an expanded definition of search, hoping to make money from YouTube by inserting advertiser videos into the search results page. By some measures, YouTube is second only to Google in search volume. So far, advertiser uptake has been modest, Woodside said. It will continue to try new formats on the site to find what works. “Over time, some of these things will break through,” he said.

Although Google made ambitious forays into selling print, radio and TV advertising, it abandoned efforts with newspapers and radio, marking an embarrassing retreat. Woodside said Google remained committed to TV advertising, seeing it as an adjunct to its video efforts and an opportunity for Internet-like targeting and measurement.

“We’re trying to create a feedback loop as you have with the Web,” he said. Newspaper and radio programs failed because Google couldn’t implement such systems.

Woodside, who was vp of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Benelux for Google, was named vp of Americas operations after Tim Armstrong left in March to helm AOL.