Simplified search/local search enabler (my awkward term) SME Global Solutions has bagged some cash — in other words, closed a Series A round with Redpoint Ventures — and changed its name. The company is now being called "WebVisible."
What WebVisible does is manage the back-end of paid search campaigns and enable clients to sell search to small/local businesses at fixed price points with no campaign set up or management.
There are a number of companies in this "space," but WebVisible is/was one of the pioneers (if I can use that term). They have a bunch of high profile clients: Dex Media, BellSouth, Verizon, Yellowpages.com, Knight Ridder, Interland, The Berry Company.
As we wrote last year, this "simplified search" model is one of the keys to overcoming the inertia of SMEs who want to be found online but aren't able to take the time or are confused by the process of campaign setup and management.
What will be interesting to see is whether these simplified products evolve (and, for example, incorporate PPCall) over time and whether they remain popular — anecdotal evidence suggests that right now they are very popular and selling well.
Simplified search will be one of the topics that we'll explore further in an upcoming report and in a panel at our November ILM:05 show (agenda almost done, I promise).