Google Sees Pakistan as $500 Million Ad Market [Updated]

Google-PakistanGoogle has said that it sees Pakistan as a US 500 million dollar (or Rs. 47 Billion) advertising market with 22 million internet users, which is larger than the population of Australia and Singapore.

Google said that it entertained 8 million search queries from Pakistan on Monday only (i.e September 10th, 2012).

This was revealed by Google executives during a media event held in Karachi.

Badar Khushnood, Google’s Country Consultant for Pakistan, who just spoke to me to clarify things, said that out of this total USD 500 million dollar market the online marketing spend is mere 1 percent or USD 5 million dollars – out of which Google has a notable share.

Google’s revenue includes the adword spending from Pakistani companies, but that is decreasing with time as businesses are now more inclined towards Facebook, news websites and niche portal for their advertising spends.

Still Google will keep playing a pivotal role in online advertisements in Pakistan due to their monopoly in Search Engine and heavily visited properties such as YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and others.

Despite only 13-15 percent internet penetration rate, Pakistani internet population of 23 million heads stand at 20th position in the world, making it a significant market for internet giants such as Google.

This large number of internet audience is apparently not enough to convince Google for getting its office working in the country.

Though the company has shown a great amount of interest in Pakistani market, evident from the visit of Google’s Chairman to Pakistan recently and now official visit of 6 regional executives from Google vesting Pakistan again, but Badar Khushnood, country consultant for Google, has denied the chances of Google opening its office in Pakistan anytime Soon.

Experts say that Google wants to operate in Pakistan through regional offices to avoid various kind of legal obligations and probably taxes too.

It maybe recalled that Google recently advertised at least two mid-level positions for managing business in Pakistan but said that positions will be based in Singapore.


  • Fazal

    I have some doubts about the revenue number raised. Perhaps the Google team is being misquoted here. The Tribune article quotes
    their head of Emerging Market Development, Southeast Asia, Jana Levene as saying. “Pakistan is a $400 to $500 million market for Google,”
    There is a difference between market size and current revenue. If Google was getting this much money from Pakistan I’m sure most people in the digital advertising business would be very very happy :P

    • Rez

      I also have doubts, huge doubts. We hardly see any ads, most of ads are from Olx which is not a Pakistani brand any way and the ads we get on local sites convert miserably.

      • admin

        Google earns from its websites in Pakistan, in addition to adsense share of revenues (33 percent) they make from all the clicks made by Pakistani users.

  • Noor

    Badar Khushnood (Google Country Consultant Pakistan) is an office in himself. More importantly, I agree with Fazal about the over exaggeration of figures.

    • Imran

      badar himself wouldn’t want a office as it seems or his one man kingdom will shatter

      • Osama

        very truely said imran, One Man Kingdom of Badar Khushnood.

  • Teeth Maestro

    Check your headline again – Express Tribune as issued a clarification

    Correction: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated that Google’s revenues from Pakistan were $500 million. That figure represents the total size of the Pakistani advertising market and not Google’s revenues. The error is regretted.

    • admin

      Daily Times mis-reported as well?

      http://bit.ly/PdKaKC

      • Shahid Saleem

        Why not find someone who was at the presentation and ask them?

        • B

          I agree with shahid, you should not source just two newspapers, don’t you know people in contact who attended this conference as this would be more reliable source.

  • pyari

    can anyone calculate the tax google is evading

    • Shahid Saleem

      Rs 0.

      • HASSAN

        hahahahaha

  • OPYI

    Please re-check the figures.

    I am 100% sure these are not correct.
    not even Google INDIA has such revenues when their market is much more mature than our and bigger also.

  • Pro_Desi

    Then Google must be earning 100,000,000 from Indian market?

  • Abdullah Khan

    I want to ask a question:

    “Can I have an adsense account and adsense payments withour ever having a bank account, here in Pakistan? I mean if I receive my payments through Western Union without involving any bank account???”

    • admin

      Yes, that’s what exactly is happening. Western Union payments bypass banking system and hence doesn’t come under legal radar.

      • Abdullah Khan

        Thankyou very much Sir. I am oblidged to you.

  • Munna

    Google ne to btadia. Hame ye kese pata chalega k propakistani.pk kitna earn karta hai advertise se. Please admin tell us report from reliable source?

    • it seems “propakistani” does not earn very much from adsense becasue mostly traffic is from Pakistan hich have very less click rates.

  • the cheapest new car

    is it real that Pakistan in earn 500 Million $ earn waooo i can’t believe it this is great news for me

  • when google earn a large amount of ads when he why close more then adsense account from pakistan

  • Rehman Sayani

    hey guys can we create our own search engine ???

    • Khurram

      We can definitely have one. Many countries including India has many local search engines and they are making big bucks, but the focus of our IT companies is either work for the foreign companies in the shape of outsourced work or develop something for the businesses (B2B) only. We need to have someone take this further and develop something that benefits the general public. I know this is a difficult path to follow but someone has to take a step and others would follow.

      • HK

        The problem with Pakistani audience is they don’t prefer ‘Made in Pakistan’ product. So if for instance we create localized search then I am sure few forum will give coverage…..our so called IT Pundit only criticize and compare it with google algorithm…..our IT bodies & their heads will only pass negative comments so why one build product for locals?

        Give me one true example where business got success and even got appreciation from local audience….most of the only ventures start experiencing funding issue after few time. Take example of Yelo they heavily advertised when facebook was blocked in Pakistan but nobody noticed. Here in Pakistan only one business got success……online Pakistan girls & their phone number type website. this is harsh reality of this nation.

        • Khurram

          Thanks HK for your comments.

          I completely agree with what you said above. As I mentioned, it is a difficult path to follow but it has to happen some day. The big guns of IT need to see the multi-million dollar opportunity which is linked with building a local platform.

          We also need to understand that Google lacks the hyper local ability. This is where the local search engine can fill the gap and earn. The mindset of our IT companies is wholesale and not retail due to obvious nature of managing small transactions, but if they are able to build a platform, things would be much easier.

          Again, things are difficult, but not impossible.

          • Shahid Saleem

            Clearly it understands that, because otherwise why would they collaborate with olaround?

        • Shahid Saleem

          Well for social networking, there was Naseeb which started in 2003 IN PAKISTAN. Are you on it? Why not?

          Everyone knows about rozee but according to what I have heard they started rozee because they had trouble hiring people for Naseeb.

        • Rehman Sayani

          bro lets unite and generate some sort of idea like for Search Engine or Social network or like olx

          The point is how fast people switch to it….

  • Google also earn a lot by banning Pakistani Adsense accounts, round about thousands in a Month.
    They did not return back All money of banned accounts back to the advertisers.

    That’s why they are earning a lot from here…

    • Shahid Saleem

      There’s no way banning the accounts ONCE resulted in $500 million potential market.

      Leave the conspiracy theories in primary school and grow up.

  • Kashif

    The author has made some serious mistake.
    It’s not possible that Google is earning 500 million USD (Rs 47 Billion) from Pakistan every year.

    In other words, it means that Pakistanis spend atleast 3 times of this amount on internet (shopping etc); which is ofcourse not possible.

    Please correct your article

    • OPYI

      True that!
      I would be surprised to see even if its more than $30 million.

      • Shahid Saleem

        Use adblock & it will be $0.

  • Salam, google ke police pakistan k lye to boht skht hai, adsense ko he dehk lo adsense create krny k ly 6month old web required hai aur zyda tr account block ho jaty hai

  • zafar khan

    Google is earning a lot of profit from Pakistan but why Google Adsense reinstate banned account of Pakistani bloggers Google should Provide a last chance to them and Google adsense restore banned account soon.I hope that google adsense will not ignore this request.

  • Munna

    Propakistani ko hi dekhlo google p3 search kia to pata chala propakistani ne ufone k 2GB package k advertise kelye per day 4000 rupe liye hain. Source google bhai.

    • admin

      Google can’t be a source, it doesn’t contain information rather its just a directory.

      BTW we charge more than Rs. 4,000 per ad per day, if served with maximum inventory.

      • tu kia howa aamir bhai, Ufone wale bhi tu billions kamate hein.

      • Now you must be charging Rs. 10,000 per ad per day I presume!

  • ali

    don’t blame me . . .
    i just use for searching porns only . . .

  • Ahmad

    PTA need to block google in pakistan for some days then see what happend?
    Google pay all taxes to pakistan & also open regional office.

    • Guest

      Han pehly Youtube band hai ab Google bhi block kar do :D
      Aik kaam karo Internet hi Block kar do or Internet Providers k office seal kar do.
      Aik chota sa ghaar dhoondo or pathar lagro, let’s make some memories of our stonage.

  • Sajid ali

    Jnb kia koi mujhy b btaye ga k ye earning kesy ki jati he.any one help me please

    • Guest

      Google it :P

  • imtiaz

    Daily times I believe wasn’t even there. Both picked up the same story. I was there personally and also belong to Pakistan’s advertising sector. 500 million is the total ad market size, of which 5-6 million goes towards all digital initiatives.

  • imtiaz

    Just read the daily times story. Factual misstatements in the dt report.
    a. The announcement was not made at the hangout. Jana wasn’t even a speaker at the hangout.
    b. Pakistan was never stated as the best market.
    c. Badar never mentioned free sms services.
    not to mention the 500 million error.

  • If google has not earn such amount last year but will very soon, the question is what pakistan is earning from google …. nothing .. even Rs 0 . Secondly i am sure 80% of google search is not progressive by pakistani… people are using go for porn sites …..

  • badsha

    if GOOGLE see a $ 500 m Market in Pakistan while living abroad, can you people please wake up!! Work hard on Internet and atleast get a $ 50 m share annually instead of discussing the claim?

    Unfortunately, i dont see many people working on “development” but good news is that Pakistan’s Software export is showing little(Slow) increase.
    I am sure there are lots of genius guys around
    who can do the magic.

    I am not an IT guy. Around 4 years back i discussed the idea of launching our own face book kind of application with my friend (who is an IT Guy) and to the height of my disappointment; he said its very difficult, yeh masla hay woh masla hay, bla bla.
    If tehre is a problem, is there any solution too?

    • Shahid Saleem

      Dear non-IT person, please try to understand one thing. Facebook is a big site NOT BECAUSE OF THE CODE but because of the community/people on it.

      Getting people to switch to your site and use it is a much bigger SOCIAL problem than a technical problem. That does not mean it’s not a technical issue (facebook has over 100,000 servers now), but getting to that point is hard.

      Also note the example of Google +: They have all the technical issues solved, but fewer people post on G+ than on Facebook simply because they have not brought users over.

      So, instead of talking to your IT friend, you should have talked ot marketing friends.

  • Imtiaz

    Whoever said “western union is by passing the banking system” doesnt know how it works.

    Westerm union, Express Money, RIA and a few others are operating in Pakistan after obtaining clearance from the SBP. Also, they are required to only use banks and/or exchange companies for payment disbursals.

    Since banks require a lot more paperwork, these companies have made funds transfer simple and these figures are reported to the State Bank directly. These are also reflected under the remittances in the state bank reports which we now claim are record high.

    Banks will never sign agreements with companies for any sort of funds related matter unless they have state bank approval.

  • and still the believe that we are fraud :D

  • pyari

    lol, I’m just laughing on this fact, that someone indeed has used my name while commenting, good job mate -_-

  • Nabeel

    Read this blog post to answer why Pakistan is not opting for a local search engine + related services like baidu is doing in China. http://gujjarmba.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-pakistan-needs-baidu.html

    • Online Dress

      we have to take a initiative to make our own search engine.

  • Usman

    There is a young start-up called train of thought. These guys are going to be giving google a run for their mkt share.