The ‘Church of Local Search’

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Search Initiatives‘ VP Jeff Rapson coined the term at the start of our local search session at NAA. But I’m going to claim it.

That was apropos of nothing except that I love the term . . .

I sat down today and had a lengthy conversation about self-provisioning and SMB adoption of online marketing. I heard some things (hearsay, rumor, innuendo and more) that I cannot repeat on pain of death but it suggests that there’s some unexpected and fairly radical stuff (in my mind) being considered to enable businesses to adopt paid search and other forms of Internet marketing with a minimum of effort. (Of course that’s existed for about 2 1/2 years from third party vendors selling “guaranteed clicks” through sales channel partners [e.g., yellow pages, newspapers]).

As an aside, more and more newspapers are selling the guaranteed clicks products in their local markets. There were three references to such products in the market by separate newspapers in the local search session.

My ongoing belief has been that within five years we’d have a “meeting in the middle” — increasing product and pricing simplification combined with increasing interest and sophistication among SMB advertisers. My prediction was that 10% of SMB advertisers would be doing some form of online self-service at the end of five years. But what I heard and discussed today has the potential to accelerate that considerably.

This year (or early next) might see some significant developments that establish a direct and effective onramp for SMBs and growth in the SMB segment of local search. I’m sorry to be so cryptic. We’ll see what comes to pass.

One Response to “The ‘Church of Local Search’”

  1. Three (plus) things about local search : Small Initiatives - Sensible Internet Design Says:

    […] The panel was a blast. Greg Sterling rules as a moderator (you can also read his take on the panel). […]

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