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Google to step up its display ad business, exec says

Google ad executive says display advertising will be "significant" this year and next. Watch out, Yahoo.

Display advertising may be only a fraction of Google's advertising business now, but wait until later this year and next, a top Google executive says.

Google will have a "very significant position" in the online display ad market by 2008-2009, Tim Armstrong, Google's North American president for advertising and commerce, said at a Bear Stearns Media Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday, according to Dow Jones.

His prediction was only strengthened by news on Tuesday that the European Commission approved Google's acquisition of DoubleClick, which is a leader in display advertising.

Eventually, Google's automated ad system will handle search and display ads the same, Armstrong said.

After acknowledging in its most recent earnings call that results from ads on social networks weren't paying off as well as expected, Google is working to fix that problem, he says.

Google has dedicated engineer and salespeople figuring out how to earn more money off ads on social networks and realized that treating social networks like other publisher sites wasn't working. "We now have a very clear path and direction for it," he said.

Meanwhile, YouTube is considered the "brightest light" for display ad potential within Google, according to Armstrong.