Local search: the next big thing in pay per click
This month Overture announced a trial of their technology for local pay per click search results in the US – the demo is *here* – and in July Google announced that its PPC adverts will be shown on Switchboard, a US telephone directory site that covers both businesses (yellow pages) and people (white pages).
Search engines have long tapped into consumers desires to buy products and services from businesses near them by providing yellow pages services on their websites, for example Yahoo! UK and Yell.com’s UK business finder http://uk.businessfinder.yahoo.com/ service.
But until now this area has not been specifically focused on by the big pay per click engines – but it was only a matter of time until they began to develop solutions to serve local advertising for local searches. Local advertising already provides large revenues for the publishers of the printed yellow pages (the UK’s Yell entered the top 100 shares on the UK FTSE in September, for example). Overture estimates the local search market online will be worth $1 billion by 2008.
So what opportunities – and challenges – does the development of local search offer for you, the advertiser?