This article makes me think that the real opportunity is not in selling services - web sites, optimization, advertising, etc. - to local businesses.
The real opportunity is BEING a local business.
People are searching for local businesses: spas, pubs, bakeries - and not finding local advertisers.
It's a missed opportunity for local businesses to drive new customers on the cheap.
Anyone feel like opening up a chain of spas in some select cities, having a "local" web site for each one, and flooding the local iyps with $.05 CPC ads? If a massage costs $100, your conversion doesn't have to be very good to make this work.
That would seem to be where the easy money is.
couple of interesting things in the year end zeitgeist as well: people are searching for pubs (not bars), bakeries more than italian, and hair salons (not beauty salons).