This company isn’t new, but starting Tuesday, Local.com will begin offering a new service aimed at local advertisers. According to an Online Media Daily report, the company’s “Local Verified” service gives businesses the option of paying an annual fee to secure placement at the top of its localized search results.
“We’re focused on offering businesses of all sizes multiple local search options, from standard CPMs and banners, to completely free listings,” said Jennifer Black, the search engine’s vice president of marketing.
According to comScore, almost half of consumers who used a local search Web site visited a local merchant as a result of their search behavior, highlighting the efficacy of local search as a source to drive traffic and sales.
Paying $249 for a premium listing with Local.com provides smaller businesses with a cost-effective alternative to the primary search engine’s local ad models–allowing them to “play with the big boys” in the online ad landscape, Black said.
This is the kind of application that poses the real threat to local media companies, for advertisers don’t care about being linked to content; they just want to find customers. While media companies argue about the sanctity of their content, the internet pureplays are coming in and taking away local revenue. Why local media companies can’t see this is beyond me.
The solution is for us to enter this world — not with our brands — but as internet pureplays ourselves, only done from a local perspective. Local.com has a nice name, but they are far from local.