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Will the Real True Local Please Stand Up?!

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Will the Real True Local Please Stand Up?!

Will the Real True Local Please Stand Up?!

A battle is brewing between Geosign’s TrueLocal search engine and News Corp.’s newly minted Australia-only (for now) local search site, awkwardly also called “True Local.” True Local (the original) has been operating in Canada and the US for at least a couple of years, while News Corp.’s engine launched earlier this year.

What doesn’t make sense is why News Corp. would’ve started to build a brand when they knew they probably weren’t going to be able to take it global. That either reflects hubris or a lack of homework. But it’s curious. Perhaps they just thought they’d buy True Local and take the North American domain. But True Local (the original) isn’t going to roll over and may — as Bush likes to say — “bring the fight” to News Corp.

One outcome is that Murdoch’s True Local is allowed to operate in Australia and only there. Another is that News Corp. loses that right/ability and must rebrand and relaunch completely. And in the third, most unlikely scenario, News Corp. coughs up some big money for True Local here and uses that as the launching pad for local search in the US.

Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.

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