Hearst Selling SEM to SMBs in SF

The Hearst-owned Houston Chronicle has been selling SEM services to local businesses for at least a couple of years (via Marchex) and WebVisible has worked has worked with McClatchy and Media News Group, among others. Newspapers are quickly moving to offer SEM services for SMBs and will be competing broadly with yellow pages publishers and others offering the same services. Now Hearst has expanded its markets (apparently) and is offering SEM services via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here’s a note that surfaced today in an email to Search Engine Land editors:

Comment: Hi, I’m an employment advertising consultant for Hearst Newspapers, specifically San Francisco Chronicle. SEM is a product we have recently added to the line-up of products we offer, besides print and online. Please send me all you can to help with marketing to my customers.

I had at one time argued that these businesses and services were rapidly becoming “commoditized.” I stand corrected. I was informed that Hearst has acquired a company called Metrix 4 Media and is trying to integrate that company’s services into an offering. It appears there’s a lot of learning that will have to happen before there’s a successful operation however.

In addition, the presence of so many of these services, of uneven quality, creates tremendous “noise” that can either tar the entire segment or confuse SMBs and potentially slow adoption overall.

Here’s some previous discussion of newspapers as local SEMs:

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Hearst owns the yellow pages publisher White Directories.

One Response to “Hearst Selling SEM to SMBs in SF”

  1. Who’s Got Local News? « Screenwerk Says:

    […] rollout of MediaNewsGroup’s “TrafficMax” program (supported by WebVisible). I wrote the other day about Hearst broadening its own […]

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