Centro Local Site Advertising Network
Local Search has been getting a lot of buzz recently with ShopLocal partnering with Google’s Froogle Local and Local.com to help bring more web searchers into local establishments. User reviews are on the rise and mashups are as much of a part of Yahoo, MSN, and Google’s agenda as are classifieds. Is this the making of Local 2.0?
With print newspaper readership on the downfall and online local news readership steadily increasing there also comes the challenge of monetizing local sites beyond Google AdSense or selling space directly you local merchants. To add to the local trend is a surge in local news oriented blogs and communities, fueled by the need for local news online and the hesitancy of traditional news sources to make a smooth print to net transition, from the largest city to the smallest town.
This being said, one advertising firm may be entering the right market at the right time with a local site & publisher driven advertising network. Centro may very well be that company. Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group digs a bit deeper into Centro and the local advertising / local site market.
When I spoke, now some time ago, to Integrent [Centro’s parent company] CEO Shawn Riegsecker he told me he wanted to build a newspaper-based local network that had the same quality and reach as a Google or a Yahoo!.
With 1,300 local sites (including radio and TV), Riegsecker is well on his way. But others are building local networks too …
Simplified and centralized buying is what local needs to enable dollars to shift, commensurate with consumer behavior. Integrent is trying to make it simple for national advertisers to buy local outside Google and Yahoo!. However, when the dust settles, what will be needed is a meta-network to knit together all the disparate networks.