Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Local search lacking local ads

Rob McGann reports that the top local search queries on Google only generate ads for local businesses 5% of the time.
    Google, with its advertising base in the hundreds of thousands, has, "barely scratched the surface of what's out there in terms of reaching a critical mass of advertisers that could be relevant to local search. Yahoo! has the same problem," [TACODA Systems CEO Dave] Morgan [said].

    "Google has loads of technology, but this is one marketplace it cannot automate its way into," [SiteLab International EVP Dana] Todd said. "In order for them to monetize local search with locally based advertisers, they are going to have to have people walking down the streets, knocking on doors explaining AdWords to local dry cleaners. That's not going to happen anytime soon, because they don't have the people to do that."
This is exactly the problem with local search. Local search is hard because there's many tiny little local businesses and advertisers, all being created, changing, and dying rapidly.

See also my previous post, "Down on local search".

[via Danny Sullivan]

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