The Digitization of Local Information

Good article on all the other types of local content, beyond traditional local business listings,  that are infiltrating search results.

The main theme is see here is the movement towards the ‘digitization’ of local content, and more specifically, the products and markets which make that digitization possible.  The primary challenge with local information has always been that ‘digital’ is not its native format.  Local information exists in small newspapers, on a new sign over a previously vacant storefront and in people’s accumulated experience.  These aren’t things that any search engine can take advantage of.  What you see today are more products that allow, and more markets that encourage, people to create digital representations of this local information.  As the digitization of local information increases, it only makes sense that its prominence in search results will increase.  We all live locally after all.

Local Media Talking About the Importance of Search

Boston.com has an article talking about the importance of search marketing.  Covers the basics of good links and good content…but also points out that there is a large gap between the value of search marketing and the typical business owner’s understanding of the space.

Showing up prominently in [Google, Yahoo and Bing] search results has become an important part of basic sales and marketing strategy for businesses – but one that isn’t well understood.

Always great to see people out side of “the space” talking about how critical search is to a business.

Consumers More Accepting of Local Ads Online

Interesting article about the ‘ethics of advertising‘ and how contextual targeting and behavioral targeting can impact journalistic integrity, or the perception thereof,  on news sites.  One nice local nugget included as well:

Respondents also revealed that when the ad was local and relevant to the content, it had a favorable impact. “One of the things that surprised me was how people were much more tolerant of local advertising in odd positions,” says Best. “We asked people about it, and they said it was kind of weird but OK because it was a Seattle thing.

Local Marketing Stats to Ring in the New Year

Some interesting local marketing stats in an article on Search Engine Land.  A few that stuck out for me:

  • Almost half of Facebook’s domestic user base is now over 35
  • Print Yellow Page usage is estimated at 21% in Miami versus 46% in Orland

Biggest Problems for Small Businesses?

Based on a NFIB Small Business Optimism Index study and via The Business Insider:

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Poor sales?  Some online advertising can help with that!