View Full Version : Local Search Predictions For 2004
12-31-2003, 11:33 AM
Local search is set to blow up in the year 2004. Below are a couple of predictions that I think could start some interesting conversations about the future of localized search.
Watch for alot more about localized search both in the forums and in WebProNews.
Local Search Disappoints. Localized search will finally begin to appear in more places, but advertisers and users will be disappointed with the results. In spite of early difficulties, advertising money will continue to flow into local search.
Local Search Explodes. Local search will explode in 2004. According to the Pew Internet Project, 63% of American adults now go online. That translates into approximately 126 million people. According to Pew, 88% of those with internet access use a search engine to find information. That translates into approximately 111 million people.
This is why the cost per lead using search is $0.29 while the cost per lead using the Yellow Pages is $1.18, according to Safa Rashtchy, senior analyst at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray. As more and more marketers -- particularly at small and medium businesses -- discover this fact, they will shift a much larger share of their marketing dollars into local search.
01-02-2004, 03:33 PM
This is certainly something I'm looking forward to as I've been pluggin' away at a local strategy for almost 3 years... I have continued to believe that the internet has to become pervasive as a local tool but still don't see a lot of clear indications of what mechanisms (other than our own relatively small effort and similar niche players) are out there to "get local" for the local businesses. I can see the big fortune 500 pushing a "top-down" decentralization of their strategies but that's entirely different from Uncle Bob promoting and selling nails for his local hardware store market. I'd be interested to hear how you all think it's going to play out?
01-03-2004, 02:23 AM
In reality, I think all business-/shopping-searches ought to be locally constructed. There are a couple of reasons for that (at least).
First there's the near-ness factor; someone wants to order a pair of shoes off the Net, they'd probably prefer to order something a neighbor has in stock rather than getting the same product from somewhere accross the country for the same price (and adding S&H.)
There's also the seller-gratification factor. I'd rather see someone from accross the street with a product I sell, and know I sold it to them; than see someone from far away with a product I sell, and be left to wonder where they got it.
The same two factors hold true when the property is intellectual: I'd rather hear new thinking from someone I know than from some token techie of whom I've never heard.
01-03-2004, 07:55 AM
Local Search Here's a list of some search engines.
Search Engines Worldwide
01-04-2004, 08:01 PM
There’s a reason Yellow Pages Directories are often referred to as “the original search engine”. Directive Advertising-or targeting the “ready-to-buy” customer is what the print Yellow Pages has done effectively for over 100 years. Since the mid 1990’s the Internet has joined the Yellow Pages in offering advertisers a directive channel to reach these “active” prospects. For most local business, and in particular Small & Medium Enterprises (“SME’s”) the geographic coverage and active reach of directive media can easily provide the greatest return-on-investment of all advertising choices available. Enter: the most effiecient local search tool (to-date); Internet Yellow Pages ("IYP").
According to The Kelsea Group (TKG), IYP revenues are projected to be over one billion dollars, representing 6% of all Internet advertising. TKG also predicts that by 2008 there will be more users of digital products (IYP, wireless, paid search) than print Yellow Pages for local information. Although current print references has leveled off after several years of decline, most agree that a major shift to digital usage is inevitable.
Although this local search tool has grown in both usage as well as its effectiveness in delivering local results, its threat to print revenue is now being viewed by many as an opportunity. From the SME’s perspective, nobody will disagree that the Internet is growing. Few will dispute print products effectiveness in local search…so why not combine both print and on-line and continue to reach 100% of the local market? The reality is there are currently few cost-effective alternative local on-line search solutions.
Although electronic Yellow Pages replacing big, fat print directories may make for an amusing or exciting story-it’s certainly not reality…. and won’t be for years to come. The more likely model has yet to be seen, but will most likely aggregate content from a variety of sources-the new AOL “in your area” tool is a good example. CitySearch is not far behind. Looksmart, Google and Overture are also going to be major forces. The real question is; who will act as the major providers and entry points to local search queries? The answer? Companies that have the following; A) deep pockets, B) reliable local content, and C) local advertiser relationships. The only industry that can currently make this claim is Yellow Pages Publishers.
01-04-2004, 08:34 PM
The truth is that so few local businesses have an internet presence in my commumity that it's rarely worth searching online. I still have to drag out the Yellow Pages to locate a particular type of business, unless I'm willing to just do one of the malls and "hope" what I need will be there. Unfortunately, most of the advertising flyers nor the yellow pages have national chains' phone numbers listed; so, I still can't find what I need. Although, the phonebook has developed better category directories, such as restaurants by ethnic food type and some full menus.
I can't even get the local movie theatres through local listings online -- I have to use www.hollywood.com and its directory to find which movcies are playing where and when (and we have both a Hoyt's multiplex and an AMC multiplex). Neither have a web presence.
I'd like to see the local Grocery chains have their weekly ads up online. I don't both to pick up my mail weekly and never have current ads. I'm pretty much dependent on moodswings and knowledge of which store carries which type of thing I'm interested in -- and have my "savers" barcode card to take advantage of any sales.
It's only been during the past couple of months that one could pay their Verizon phonebill online. I still can't pay most of my other utilities online. We're a long way from a dependable and reliable spectrum of local business needs being online.
01-05-2004, 07:07 AM