Who Are the Top Local Search Advertisers?

Picture 1Why they’re all verticals and directories, largely reselling traffic to small businesses.

Analytics firm AdQuants has compiled some very interesting data on the local search market. It’s based on the company’s crawling of the major search engines in “250 US metros with approximately 300 local keywords spanning the spectrum of local service providers and retailers.” AdQuants found that national paid search market share trends were magnified at the local level: “Of the 86,000 Local Online Advertisers identified, 83% advertised on Google, 33% advertised on Yahoo and only 8% advertised on Microsoft, significantly below Microsoft’s 12% share at the national level.”

There’s no breakdown offered regarding the small business vs. franchise or national-local advertiser percentages in the data. However, among the top 20 local online advertisers identified in the AdQuants Q1 paid keywords crawl, most are all directories or search engines of one sort or another that resell search traffic to small business customers . . .

The rest of this post is at SEL.

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7 Responses to “Who Are the Top Local Search Advertisers?”

  1. predictabuy Says:

    Fascinating! I wonder if this reselling model is sustainable long term? They’ll get pressure on the ‘front end’ from the search engines providing more ‘value add’ on their own featured properties (like the Google Maps 10 box). On the ‘back end’, they’ll probably see increasing pressure from local businesses having their own properly optimized websites which I assume will tend to outperform an intermediary both in terms of cost and performance.

  2. Chris Silver Smith Says:

    Actually, Predictabuy, the open “secret” of the online business directory industry for years has been that they buy traffic/referrals from each other. Major portal properties such as AOL and MSN over time have sold their business directory space to other online directory services, and these various services have often sold traffic/space to one another.

    “Coopetition” and “Frenemies” are the name of the game in the local business directory space — probably putting to shame nearly any other industry in comparison.

    So, when PPC ads came along, it quickly became yet another potential media channel for these companies to exploit and use to help extend their distribution.

    But, you are correct: I believe that there are indications that these companies may be seeing some decline in their core users’ loyalty as it becomes easier and easier to find what one seeks via one-stop-shopping through the Google 10-pack and other engines’ blended search results.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Online marketing isn’t just about search — companies that offer something more “holistic” can build a sustainable model.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Some version of this is sustainable; it hasn’t yet been quite figured out however.

  5. predictabuy Says:

    Greg – Definitely agree with the idea of a holistic approach. And agree that getting this right will be sustainable – because it will add value. Yesterday I was trying to think of a better way to describe this idea — it tends to get broadly lumped in to SEO — but that’s too narrow a term. So I invented Digital Presence Optimization – a combination of (local) SEO, SEM, website design and reputation management/social marketing. Spread the word ;).

  6. Majority of Local Advertisers Manage Their Own Campaigns « Predicting What Consumers Want to Buy Says:

    […] via Greg Sterling. […]

  7. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree Eric. Some mix of those elements that can vary by business stage/need.

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