Interchange to Launch 'Local.com' Destination
According to a news release, Interchange, which recently acquired Swedish Local Search technology platform Inspire AB, announced that it had secured the domain "Local.com" for US$700,000.
It will use the Inspire technology, as well as its own, to support the new destination site. American Town Network owns LocalSearch.com and PremierGuide owns Loqal.com.
According to the release, Interchange will develop Local.com into a global local search consumer destination. The site is slated to launch in the second half of 2005.
That's a lot less than the estimated US$100 million that SBC and BellSouth paid for YellowPages.com. And, in the end, it could prove to be an equally powerful brand — depends on what's behind it.
On the one hand you could launch "Spaghetti.com," and if you created a great site and functionality, the brand and traffic could presumably follow (a la Google). However, an intitutive URL can be a very powerful asset.
YellowPages.com had considerable "organic" traffic on the basis of the URL (it effectively owns the YP brand online). But SuperPages and Yahoo! Yellow Pages, for example, consistently drew more visitors, according to comScore. YellowPages.com had a great URL but was unable to deliver a great user experience (we'll see what the new owners can do).
Local.com is great start. Let's see what Interchange can do with it.