Sunday, August 12, 2007

Two Articles and 'My Take'

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Local Search – Two Articles and My Take

1. The Kelsey Group – “Adding High Touch to High Tech

Local Search vs. Internet Yellow Page Search: US Local search projected to surpass Internet Yellow Page Search by 2011 (graphic above - pardon the size, please click article link to see it in full size)

2. Vertical Leap - Local Search vs. Traditional Search

A recent report from leading internet analysts, comScore, shows that

  • Local Search grew faster than traditional search by 40% this year.
  • In a single month, more than 850 million local searches were performed in the United States resulting in an average per year of 1 billion local searches. According to many industry analysts, this total is expected to grow to 30 billion per year by 2009 (less than two years away).
  • Almost 50% of local searchers visited a local business as a result of performing search online.

This clearly demonstrates the importance of online marketing to offline conversion. This issue of "offline conversion" has been considered by many as being the "last mile" for internet marketing and is notoriously difficult to track but should not dissuade businesses from engaging in online marketing initiatives.

Currently, the majority of local searchers still rely on directories such as the Yellow Pages. I believe that this grip will be weakened in the near future as the main search engines really start to flex their muscle in this segment of the market. Furthermore, mobile internet usage will also play a huge role in changing the landscape of local search over the coming months and years.

My Take

It seems clear that consumers are ready to use – and are in fact demanding - better, easier to use, Internet-based local search.

The questions are:

  • “What search model will best meet their needs?” Social-based? Algorithm based?
  • “Will a new search model utilize the existing relationships that local vendors already have with their satisfied customers, patients, neighbors?”
  • “Will it encourage consumer participation? Provide consumers with a reward for their referrals? Build their customer relationship while building their businesses and benefiting the community?”


Sunday August 12, 2007 - 08:43am (EDT)