• http://www.newfangled.com Eric Holter

    Great post Greg. I’m glad Search Engine Land has started a column for local search dialog. I think one barrier to local search taking off is the ignorance of local shops and services to the existence of local online advertising opportunities on search engines. One of the best channels for educating local shops and services is through small- to mid-sized advertising agencies and design firms–the ones such small local businesses turn to for other marketing materials. Sadly, the typical small advertising agency or design firm is not paying careful enough attention to such changes/opportunities. I’m sure your column will be helpful in this regard. Thanks!

    Eric Holter
    CEO – Newfangled Web Factory

    related: http://www.newfangled.com/local_search_making_yellow_pages_obsolete

  • http://joeduck.wordpress.com Joe Duck

    Excellent analysis Greg. the complexity of local “on the ground” far exceeds that of national online advertising

    Right on, and although $1000 per month sounds modest to many even that amount would drop jaws at many small businesses who run a few local spots a few times per year. Few even understand, for example, why a blog for their business would probably create a lot of free online activity.

    We are years from a rational local adoption of online marketing strategies.

  • http://cohn.wordpress.com Cohn

    Nice overview Greg.

    Does the yellow pages industry count “line listings” as advertisers?

    $15 Billion divided by 3.2 million yellow page advertisers is $4,687.50 spent annually or $390.62 a month per advertiser.

    Sounds like a lot of wasted advertising dollars.

    Won’t the market for local search grow only when the average search query has doubled its present length of 2.1 words?

  • http://www.sierrawebmarketers.blogspot.com MikeM

    Great post Greg, I am anxious to read the “thousand-word digression”.

    Advertising online for local business is like looking at ripe fruit on trees but the road into the orchard is muddy and inaccessible. They don’t know how to get in.

    You mention the fragmentation in the local space, it’s complicated even for specialists as you know.
    Local search specialists are few and far between as most SEMs are rightly chasing National accounts.
    A void exists here that will be filled in time but I think we are still a couple of years away if not more.
    SEMs moving into the local space will have to put feet on the ground and be prepared to educate and hand hold. What should be easy is actually very challenging.

    $1,000 a month can buy a whole lot of local search real estate.

  • http://www.webdesignid.com/blog zkatkin

    I agree with Joe Duck. We are very far from local adoption. The local market, typically implies small business. As a web design company owner I deal with small businesses that have had modest local success for decades with little or no (ugly, modest) web presence.

  • http://www.AmbassadorInternet.com Richard Hargrave

    Gregg, as always you’ve got a real handle on the business of local search – and congratulations to Search Engine Land! You’ve brought some clarity to the ongoing analysis and interpretation of the multiple stats and projections out there.

    To address some of the comments, above: 1)I don’t believe any YP publishers count “listings” as advertisers – they do however count any paid unit, including semi-bold, bold and additional listings. 2)Local SMEs investing $1,000/mo. is actually somewhat conservative (in many tier 1 markets), and represents a good start to maximizing ROI. 3)We are currently witnessing the adoption of local SEM services in NYC, and I suspect that there are at least a half-dozen other markets in the same position. Embrace the opportunity, educate the marketplace and you’ll capture the dollars…

    Rich Hargrave

  • http://www.adhocmarketing.com Scott Salwolke

    I agree that its about time to focus on local search. Yet, to say it’s mostly about small business is too limiting. After all, don’t hotel chains or realtors, for example want to rank highly for local terms.

  • http://www.palmdesert.com Art

    We have recently partnered with a local ad agency and now offer both “Local Search” on http://www.palmdesert.com and “National Search” using http://www.globallylocally.com. We are finding that giving them a complete online platform with exposure on the top level search sites and on the local search site has help them to understand online advertering and open up there minds to the possibilities. Once they see the traffic and the results we are seeing them go from $200 and $500 per month to $500 to $1500.

  • http://www.pinpointpages.com Martin Garcia

    Thank you Chris for creating this new column it’s a breath of fresh air, coming from one of the two authors of “The Invisible Web.” I’m looking forward to reading “Locals Only” every Monday.

    Martin Garcia
    Founder – Pinpoint Pages®
    local websites

  • http://www.ShopNTown.com The Little Guy

    Greg, Since this is my first comment on your site, I will keep it short.

    Yes, there are some major barriers with local search. Since we have been building a solution since 1997, I am bias about our patented solution due for launch June 15th.

    Our site, less the new branding graphics, has a “Take the Tour” video that explains our system well.

    I would love to hear your feedback, since I have paid attention to your expertise in search since the late 90’s.

    Best Regards,