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I'm guessing that the book is cooked, toast, despite a nifty commercial, but it's always nice to see someone challenging the big guns and the status quo.
YellowBook or any other local platform has to get more personal than a TV commercial and they need to offer an inexpensive and easy to understand program.
From my point of view it's a wide open field for independent local SEM guys or gals to approach local business with an affordable way in for clients.
A couple quick points.
- Footsoldiers - YB acquisition of ClickForward - Distribution is an equal driver as Destination - Footprint Dominance - SME Relationships
This IS where local search product is being sold. YB just isn't top 5 right now. A player though? You better believe it. As for the marketplace still being open to opporunity, well, sure. The central question is who the hell wants SME budgets right now. LS products sales to this point look very similar to how it has looked in the tradional media world for a very long time. The local advertising space on line is nascent in terms of infrastructure and adoption but very old in terms of the traditional battlelines. YB is just one example of that.
[edited by: Chicago at 1:45 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]
The central question is who the hell wants SME budgets right now.
This sentence jumps out at me as a core factor when you consider where local search has to go. Not only aren't the paid listings alone useful enough to pull in traffic, but I take it that, by themselves, they're also not profitable. Maybe, until they reach critical mass of some sort, they're at best a loss leader, the way weather reports are on the news... and in fact the way news used to be on TV.
I feel that a non-niche local search site has to be so useful that it's compelling to use, and it's got to be cross-indexed up, down, and sideways, offering information in every context. Local search engines still aren't delivering anything like the information density that the free local weeklies do in most metropolitan areas, either in editorial content or in advertising, even though they have the potential of many more genuinely useful whistles and bells.
I keep waiting for a big local search engine to partner up with a local newspaper chain.
could you define what you meant in your post for the non- marketing lay person?
As a small business person (does SME = small/medium enterprise) my perspective seems to be different from that of marketing and seo/sem practitioners.
Respectively strong and medium levels of local optimization tend to outrank the listings from different versions of IYP. They also tend to cover more territory with regard to the long tail of search.
Nevertheless as time moves on I see other value with regard to IYP. I expect it to be very negotiable w/regard to price though...at least certainly in these relatively early days for IYP.