Google’s expansions these days cause more than a few ripples in the world of online commerce. Their push to buy ITA is still the subject of major controversy, and the fact that Hotpot now takes an active role in providing location data has a variety of companies fuming. One such company is Yext, and they have launched an anti-Google alliance.
As reported by Tech Crunch, Yext — a New York local advertising start-up with a pay-per-call marketing basis for New York City businesses — established this alliance. The method of rebellion isn’t nearly so destructive as you might think, however. Yext has simply put together a group of businesses who will all provide a sponsored message, or “tag,” for users. This tag will appear across about a dozen different local sites, including MapQuest, Local.com, CitySearch, Topix, MerchantCircle, and more.
This move is lifted straight from the Google playbook, and allows users to do the same thing across these “alliance” sites as they could on Google’s Hotpot and Maps. However, how effective this will really be in preventing the growth of Hotpot is very much in question. After all, the tag service for the anti-Google companies run about $99 each month — four times the rate last pitched by Google.
Companies may have a right to be concerned, of course. While Google will still be referring to other end-sites for final purchases, Hotpot will provide enough information that it may put groups like Citysearch and Yelp entirely out of business. And Google has launched more than a small advertising campaign. Beyond a huge campaign in Portland, Oregon, Google recently announced that they would be providing a full $100 million in ad credits for those advertising a local business in their area.