Local.com Continues Partner Blitz

Interchange Corp. continued its recent string of partnerships by adding Insider Pages’ pay-per-call ads and merchant reviews to its Local.com search engine.

Interchange has been busy in recent weeks bolstering Local.com’s search results with distribution deals for Insider Pages, Furl, and ShopLocal, as well as enhancements to its search technology.

“Our strategy is to drive repeat usage by providing deep, rich, value-added content to our consumers, which ultimately enhances their ability to make more informed purchase and shopping decisions,” Greg Parker, Interchange’s director of strategic alliances, said in a statement.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2006, Insider Pages pay-per-call ads and merchant reviews will appear in relevant Local.com search results. A similar distribution agreement with ShopLocal displays a “View Store Specials” link alongside Local.com’s existing business information when a ShopLocal listing is present for a given product category or keyword. Another deal with OpenTable.com, which provides users with enhanced restaurant information and the ability to make reservations online.

“Developing the local Internet requires the creation of networks that allow businesses and consumers to find one another in an otherwise fragmented environment,” said Greg Sterling, Kelsey Group analyst. “Distribution deals like this help meet the needs of both advertisers and consumers who are seeking to find one another online.”

Interchange has also made moves to add value to users of the Local.com service, with the addition of LookSmart’s Furl.net bookmarking feature to the site planned for the first quarter, and several technology enhancements made last month made to increase relevance of search results.

Since launching in beta in August, Local.com has grown to reach 5 million unique visitors and over 21 million page views in November, up from 1.5 million unique visitors and 6 million page views in October 2005.

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