IndustryLocal Search Articles

Local Search Articles

Compilation of articles from Search Engine Watch and around the web offering about how search engines are targeting local search as a way to gain users and also increase revenues.


This page lists articles from Search Engine Watch and around the web that cover how search engines are targeting local search as a way to gain users and also increase advertising revenues.

NOTE: Article links often change, especially the older an article is. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Jump to articles from:
Sept. 2004 OnwardJan-Aug 20042003

Articles From Jan-Aug 2004

PremierGuide Gets Social with Local Search
Clickz, Aug. 26, 2004

Local search asp PremiereGuide has added social networking functionality to its product. In other words, searchers can find local listings that have been reviewed or recommended by others.

Interchange Improves Local Search Platform
ClickZ, Aug. 25, 2004

Interchange makes it possible to find products and services linked to landmarks, in addition to other ranges already offered such as US ZIP and area codes.

Ask Jeeves Goes Local, Adds New Smart Search Features
SearchDay, Aug. 4, 2004

Ask Jeeves has announced a new partnership with local search and content provider CitySearch, and added new search shortcuts.

Yahoo Targets Google, Yellow Pages with New Local Search
SearchDay, Aug. 3, 2004

Yahoo has rolled out a feature-laden beta version of its local search service, sharply upping the ante in the rapidly evolving local search sweepstakes.

Yahoo, Google Act Local
San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 8, 2004

You’ve read stories like this already before about why search engines are chasing local, because of the potential ad revenue. It also revisits problems some the current search advertising models face in gaining local advertisers. Meanwhile, a new survey finds more than half of small and medium-sized business think local search will be of growing importance to them:

Online Yellow Pages Beat Search Engines Locally
AdAge, July 12, 2004

Looks at moves by online yellow pages to win some of the search advertising spend happening online. Nice anecdote of a newly converted SuperPages buyer pleased with what appears to be great conversion. But Yahoo and Google are hardly beat, given that he says he’s not going to drop them.

Local and Regional Search: A Primer
ClickZ, July 9, 2004

Been thinking about online yellow pages? Here’s a short guide to major programs to consider, as well as how new local search ads may be appearing in them.

Overture Launches Local Match Listings Program
SearchDay, June 28, 2004

Overture launched a new Local Match program today to allow its advertisers in the United States to more easily target listings toward those with a local interest. This version for Search Engine Watch members examines issues about how locator pages are required for all local listings, how local and regular listings are mixed so that advertisers are only ultimately represented by one listing, how the local program may cause a rise in prices for some locally-targeted terms, how pure local listings are ranked and the physical location requirement impact on resellers and others.

Transforming Clicks Into Rings
New York Times, June 7, 2004

No web site? No problem. Ingenio plans to insert telephone numbers in place of URLs for small businesses that are web challenged. Perhaps it will work, but I’ve got one big concern. It’s the wrong medium.

Someone who is already on the internet and doing a search to me will be more likely to click on an ad rather than pick up the phone. After they’ve visited an advertiser online and done some research, then I think they might be more inclined to call. But before? You’d do what’s normal, surf the web.

Consider the alternative. What if you opened your yellow pages directory and some ads had only URLs, for businesses that had no phone numbers. Would you put down the book and surf to the advertiser? Perhaps, but more likely you’d first call those who did have phone numbers.

Search Engines Make Local Landgrabs, Leaving Newspapers Out In The Cold
MediaPost, May 14, 2004

Newspapers better look out. Their bread-and-butter classified business could be under threat from search engines, says a new report.

Overture Eyes Canadian Market, May 13, 2004

Until Overture can launch Overture Canada later this year, it has partnered with a local paid listing company to help serve its advertisers wishing to target the country.

CitySearch teams with Overture, May 13, 2004

Overture has partnered to place its paid listings into search results on CitySearch. More about CitySearch here:

Verizon Launches Self-Service Tool
ClickZ, May 10, 2004

Now you can buy local paid placement listings on via an online program.

Will Intermediaries Drive Local Search?
MediaPost, April 6, 2004

Local search is overhyped, says Jupiter Research. Local search is going places, says the Kelsey Group. Despite contrary viewpoints, both agree that local search needs to get much better for users, if it is to become a successful advertising medium.

Behind the Scenes at News Aggregator Topix.Net
SearchDay, Apr. 13, 2004 combines an excellent news search engine with two other hot technologies: local search and personalization.

Jupiter Projects Slower Local Search Growth, Foiling High Expectations
MediaPost, April 1, 2004

Jupiter Research says local search will grow at a slower rate than general search advertising, primarily because local advertisers are slow to spend online.

Local Search: Working Hard for the Money
ClickZ, March 31, 2004

Cashing in on local search will require search engines and online yellow pages to work together. That’s one conclusion from a recent Kelsey Group conference on local search.

Mapquest Beta Tests Local Search
ClickZ, March 29, 2004

AOL’s Mapquest service gains a more prominent ability for those getting maps to also search for local businesses. (permalink)

Google Pushes Local Search Into the Limelight
SearchDay, March 17, 2004

Google has officially moved local search out of Google Labs and into beta, introducing several noteworthy new features at the same time.

Local Search Brings Consumers Home
ClickZ, March 11, 2004

The Kelsey Group and ConStat predict local search will generate $2.5 billion in paid search advertising by 2008. Article also covers assorted other stats about local search.

Yahoo Enhances Local Search with Maps
SearchDay, Mar. 10, 2004

Yahoo’s new Smart View technology pinpoints the location of restaurants, banks, merchants and other businesses and attractions on local maps of cities throughout the United States and Canada.

PPC for SME: Small But Growing
ClickZ, March 8, 2004

A recent Kelsey Group/ConStat survey found 11 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are already doing search buys and 34 percent were interested. However most, 43 percent, weren’t interested at all. Why not? Of the not-interested group, 60 percent didn’t think it was appropriate for their business. Lots of other interesting stats from the survey, as well.

Search Engines Are Revving Up for a Local Fight, March 8, 2004

Revisiting the race by search engines and online yellow pages to capture the revenue represented by getting local advertisers online in search.

Local Search Growing, but Small Biz Advertisers Cautious
SearchDay, Feb. 24, 2004

Local search is a hot topic, but both search providers and small business owners face significant challenges before location based finding services gain broad acceptance.

Overture to Introduce Local Search Ad Program, March 8, 2004

In the near future, Overture will release a tool allowing advertisers to target ads by US ZIP codes or to a radius around a particular geographic point.

comScore Bows qSearch Local
MediaPost, March 3, 2004

comScore says 7 percent of internet searches in the US are local in nature and announces a new product to track local search activity.

Pay-Per-Click Debuts on
ClickZ, March 1, 2004

SuperPages’ new paid listings program goes live, allowing local advertisers a means to buy their way to the top. And those of you who represent local clients, the program provides a new way to effectively tap into some local searchers you may have been missing.

Interchange Bows Local Search Tool, Naturally
MediaDailyNews, Feb. 24, 2004

ePilot gets new local ads options, courtesy of parent company Interchange. Each business is imprinted with a local “DNA” coding to associate it with particular areas, to help aid in searching (and likely in buying ads). You can try ePilot local yourself at

Citysearch Sees Future Local-Search Growth, Feb. 10, 2004

Citysearch says it has added 3,000 more advertisers in the past three months, bringing the company halfway to its goal of 50,000 by the end of the year.

Visualizing Paris, Barcelona and other Cities
SearchDay, Feb. 10, 2004

While local search in the U.S. has focused on providing basic business information, Wanadoo Maps has added a new twist to online yellow pages in Europe: photos of thousands of buildings in France and Spain. Revamps Search, Cleans Up Site, Feb. 5, 2004

Switchboard makes improvements to its online yellow pages site, including offering a single search box (no need to pick a city or US state).’s PPC Play, Feb. 5, 2004

I’ll be resuming my series from last year on local search soon, and part of that will be a closer look at moves by SuperPages to enhance its offerings. In the meantime, as this article outlines, the company plans to redesign to make single search box searching possible, plus it rolls out new cost-per-click paid listings to help existing and new advertisers rise to the top.

To clarify my quote in the article, I’m doubtful some of the smaller local players will embrace the new ads that SuperPages is trying in the short term. Things to me are designed much more to be friendly to those local players who are already exploring online advertising in some way.

Verizon To Make Pages Even More Super, Slates Directory Overhaul
MediaDailyNews, Feb. 2, 2004

Verizon SuperPages plans a revamp next month, designed to attract new searchers looking for local products and services, as well as advertisers willing to pay on a cost-per-click placement for top listings.

Dex Says What’s Next: Searchable Display Ads
MediaDailyNews, Jan. 16, 2004

Dex has converted 240,000 yellow pages display ads into keyword-searchable listings. Despite what the article says, this isn’t a “single search box” interface like Google and other traditional search engines. You still need to enter information into three boxes: subject, US city and state. The ads that have been converted cover 15 western and mid-western states, but further information is available through a partnership with infoUSA. You can visit the site at (permalink to this item)

Local Search, With A Visual Twist
SearchDay, Jan. 15, 2004

Metrobot combines an excellent local search engine with a unique graphical interface that makes it easy to locate businesses in a dozen major U.S. cities.

Local Search: The Hybrid Future
SearchDay, Jan. 8, 2004

Last year at this time there was really no such thing as ‘local search.’ Fast forward twelve months and local is one of the hottest topics in search.

Articles From 2003

Report: Local Search Worth $2.5 Billion by 2008, Dec. 23, 2003

Local paid listings are expected to generate $2.5 billion in revenue by 2008, according to a research report by The Kelsey Group. The report estimates that 60 percent of searches are local in nature.

Local Search Part 5: Citysearch Brings Local To Searchers & Merchants
SearchDay, Nov. 20, 2003

Citysearch has long offered local content to searchers. But the company has made new moves to bring local merchants into the world of search advertising by introducing a cost-per-lead program. Citysearch’s content and its new advertising program bridges a gap between search engines and online yellow pages.

Local Search Part 4: Major Search Engines On Yellow Pages
SearchDay, Nov. 13, 2003

Local search is the current hot topic in the industry, but has it really arrived? Executives from Yahoo, AOL, LookSmart, Terra Lycos and Muller Medien debate the hype vs. reality of local search.

Evite Redesign Fosters Pay-Per-Click Ads, Nov. 13, 2003

Evite gets paid local listings from sister site CitySearch.

Citysearch Optimizes for Paid Search, Dec. 18, 2003

Citysearch redesigns to make itself more search box-oriented.

Local Search Part 3: Google Gets Local With AdWords
SearchDay, Oct. 28, 2003

Google’s new regional targeting feature for AdWords lets advertisers target their ads to any of 210 specific local regions in the US. Part of a continuing series on local searching.

Local Search Part 2: Google & Mobilemaps Bring Back Geosearching
SearchDay, Oct. 21, 2003

How Google and Mobilemaps are making it possible to search the web yet filter results to a local level. Second of a three-part series on local search.

Local Search Part 1: New Developments In Local Search & Moves By Overture
SearchDay, Oct. 14, 2003

Local searching on web-wide search engines can be disappointing. New moves by some major players may improve this. This first of a three-part series looks at local search listings that Overture is testing.

Switchboard Rolls Out Paid Link Program, Aug. 25, 2003

Online yellow pages provider Switchboard adds paid listings to the mix.

Search for Survival Commentary: Who wins as national search goes local?
CBS MarketWatch, Aug. 19, 2003{83DFE992-B5A6-47E4-9073-8CDF58CB7CB5}&siteid=mktw

Search engines know that a lot of searches are local in nature — and they are looking to making local search the next big profit center. But the kings of local search — yellow pages — aren’t going to be shutout without a fight. And the yellow pages are the ones who already have the local advertisers who have yet to discover web search.

Will Search Engines Slay the Yellow Pages?
SearchDay, July 24, 2003

The success of Overture and Google’s paid listing programs has many industry experts speculating about the future survival of printed yellow page telephone directories. Search Engine Watch members should follow the link to a special members-only version of the article.

Small Businesses Embrace Search Engine Marketing, June 25, 2003

A survey finds that search engine marketing is being used by 17 percent of small businesses. That puts it seventh behind other advertising options such as radio, magazines, direct mail, newspapers, running a web site and the top choice, Yellow Pages ads. However, the take up is seen as significant and perhaps eventually posing a challenge to Yellow Pages advertising.

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