Search giant Google appears to be aggressively moving to include more classifieds listings in search results, a market analyst said Wednesday.
In the past few months, Googles been courting major providers of classified advertisements, including online listings of employment opportunities, and may have already signed deals with some of them, according to Classified Intelligence, an Orlando-based classified advertising consultancy.
The classified ads would presumably show up in Googles local search results, which are designed to hunt for goods and services in a particular town or city.
Local search and classified advertisements share the common purpose of connecting providers of services and goods with consumers habitually near their stores or offices, which helps to understand Googles apparent interest in them. Yet, very few classified ads seem to show up in Google local search results, according to Classified Intelligence Founding Principal Peter Zollman.
Googles competitors already have classifieds, typically organized as separate subdomains.
The local search market continues to become a more important element of the overall Web search industry.
A recent survey of nearly 4,000 Internet users by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com found that one in five of the searches were focused locally, and that three-quarters of those surveyed used the local searches from Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and other major search engines.
Meanwhile, all of the major search providers have beefed up their local search service in some way over the past two years.
"One of the things that are very important in local search is buying goods locally; one of the logical ways you buy goods locally is through classifieds," Zollman said. "Google has some classified advertising, but its not organized. They are making it clear that they will."
A Google spokesperson didnt immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the Classified Intelligence note and Zollmans comments.
The company said Wednesday that it will be making an announcement concerning local search on Thursday, but didnt elaborate.