Burns, who was Google's first employee outside the US, will take the title of head of search. She will evaluate acquisition opportunities and look at launching a search consultancy service across Adlink's European network.
According to Burns, most media agencies have neither the patience nor the knowledge to understand the complexities of the market.
"Clients and third parties want to know how best to deal with companies such as Google and MSN and I can demystify that whole area," she said. "Even where agencies have already invested in search, they need to know how to make their departments break even, and we could work alongside them to provide outsourced expertise."
Andy Mitchell, the managing director of Adlink, added: "Search is a massive potential opportunity for our business."