Local Search Players Enhance Offerings

Publishers courting local advertisers are continually looking for an edge in the growing local search business, offering buyers more advanced tools or increased distribution for ads.

Two local advertising players have enhanced their offerings this week. YellowPages.com scored a distribution deal with AOL Yellow Pages, and ReachLocal added Efficient Frontier’s algorithmic bid management product to its local search packages.

Yellow Pages.com, a joint venture between SBC Yellow Pages and BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Corporation, will supply its YellowPages.com, SBC SMARTpages.com and BellSouth RealPages.com advertiser listings to AOL for its local directory product. AOL Yellow Pages listings appear across the AOL subscription service, AOL.com, and the Netscape and CompuServe services.

The move means YellowPages.com provides added reach to its advertiser base, and AOL gains additional listings for their online directory, which both increases value for users and adds ad inventory.

“This agreement is a significant milestone. YellowPages.com is all about bringing buyers and sellers together,” said Charles Stubbs, president and CEO of YellowPages.com. “Our advertisers, with a single buy, will now be in front of millions of consumers.”

ReachLocal, which offers small businesses a package of local advertising services from other providers, will now offer advertisers access to Efficient Frontier’s paid search bid management tool. The algorithm-based tool optimizes keyword bid prices using analytics similar to those used in financial portfolio management to maximize an investor’s return on investment.

ReachLocal offers advertisers packages that include paid search ads from Google and Yahoo; Internet Yellow Pages listings from SuperPages.com; paid inclusion from LookSmart; and geo-targeted banner ads on the Advertising.com network. The service includes campaign set-up and management, simplified online media buying, and campaign reporting.

“The ability for businesses to capitalize on the local search market has been largely untapped. The combination of ReachLocal and Efficient Frontier removes the barriers to entry, providing these marketers a manageable way to be a larger part of the growing online search market,” said Ellen Siminoff, president and CEO of Efficient Frontier.

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