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By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-04-01 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Also Wednesday, Jupitermedia Inc.s Jupiter Research issued a report predicting that local-search advertising will grow at a slower pace than online advertising overall. Jupiter expects local-search advertising to grow 15 percent annually, compared with 19 percent annually for overall online advertising. To grow the market, more players are likely to emerge to help local advertisers reach search engines, said David Galvan, Yahoos director of business development. Yahoo, for example, does not expect to put a full sales force on the ground in local markets, but local advertisers still will be seeking promotion through its search ad programs, he said. Yahoo early in March expanded its local search features.
"Theres a need for a layer of middlemen that could come out of anywhere," Galvan said. "They will find way to get stuff to the local level."
On the consumer side, though, executives from search and directory companies agreed that demand is rising only for geographic-specific search results and for local content, as more and more Americans are always connected to the Internet through broadband. Brendan Benzing, America Online Inc.s executive director for AOL Search and Directional Media, said he recalls a rush in the late 1990s to target local markets online, only to watch expectations exceed reality. "Ive been on a hype roller coaster before," Benzing said. "But consumer behavior really has changed on the Internet. The consumer is beginning to use the Internet as a utility, and that will lead to local search being used more and more." Ultimately, local search and content will become more integrated into the search experience as the volume of structured and unstructured information grows, said Sukhinder Singh, Google Inc.s general manager of local search. Singh said she expects a wider array of partnerships among search providers, local directory providers and other local content providers to create a pool of local data. Google has focused on creating a single search-query box where information across a spectrum of areas, including local, can be found, Singh said. Google last month launched a beta version of its Google Local search. "It would be foolish not to think in three or four years that search engines and Internet yellow pages dont include each others feeds and, quite frankly, feeds from others," she said. "If its the same data set or content set, then it will be about the consumer choosing the entry point thats important to them." Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions.
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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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