Thursday, August 2, 2007

Local Search Bonanza Stirs Patent Investigation - Sramana Mitra on Strategy

Local Search Bonanza Stirs Patent Investigation - Sramana Mitra on Strategy


Last year in Feb the Kelsey Group made the eye-catching forecast that the global online local search market is set to explode from $3.4 billion in 2005 to $13 billion in 2010. This put the growth rate at a handsome 30.4% over the next 4-5 years.

...local search is a very high growth area, and one that companies like Google are drooling over.

Against that backdrop,’s (NASDAQ: LOCM) recent award of a patent for indexing and retrieving web-related information by geographical location assumes serious significance. At least superficially, the patent covers much of what giants like Google, Yahoo, Verizon, Ask and InfoSpace are already offering in the local search area.’s patent has therefore set the buzz rolling as to whether the Irvine, California based company is up for acquisition by giants like Google, Yahoo or IAC.

My Take

The local advertising market is ripe for revolution. Who is leading the charge toward this innovation? Advertisers? Nope. Consumers who simply demand more than bulky yellow books dropped onto their driveways or entryways.

septuagenarians are using Yahoo Local or Google to look up phone numbers. Twenty-something first time homebuyers certainly expect more.

The door is open for a new model. Clearly large investors are investing in this space. The local ad model of the future has not yet been introduced. A model that will literally "turn the Yellow Pages 'inside out and upside down'".

Stay tuned !!

Thursday August 2, 2007 - 07:19am (EDT)