Paid local search is the ultimate cash cow

Paid local search is the ultimate cash cow
This is something local TV stations should be taking VERY seriously. The dramatic rebirth of online advertising is being fueled by paid search advertising. The thinking is that people can type what they’re seeking in a search bar faster than they can sort through alphabetized links. This is the essential logic of Google, and it’s spot-on for the Postmodern world. Now comes The Kelsey Group (TKG) with a white paper suggesting local paid search will be a $2.5 billion industry by 2008. I couldn’t agree more, and it poses a major threat to television advertising unless local stations get in on the act. That means partnering with a search technology or building your own, because this is revenue a station cannot afford to let get away. An article in MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews quotes Greg Sterling, director of Kelsey’s Digital Directories: Interactive Local Media Continuous Advisory Service and author of the new report, “A Closer Look at Local Search.”

“It has the potential to impact the entire local market. All the media that local businesses use to advertise their products and services can be impacted.”

Sterling says the local search industry will need overcome some considerable obstacles before that occurs. Among other things, Sterling predicts a series of alliances are likely to occur between major search providers looking to build a base in local markets and local Yellow Pages publishers looking to develop the kind of technology that could facilitate a local search advertising marketplace.

I’ve just finished my 5th year of online Christmas shopping. Each year, it’s gotten easier to find what I’m seeking, and that’s mostly due to refinements in search. Google’s Froogle search is an excellent example. If I could find LOCAL products in such a way, my overall shopping experience would be even more pleasurable. This isn’t one of those “might happen” things. This is a can’t lose, no-brainer.

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