There are lots of things happening and announcements in the local space. However, I'm in the thick of conference schmoozing so I'm just stealing a few moments to mention something that Peter Zollman reported to me about Google launching classifieds (via partners). For more see Peter's press release. What this does is provide more complete local coverage in Google results. For Google's partners it will mean additional distribution. Google's competitors already have classifieds, typically organized as separate subdomains.
What will be interesting to see is whether Google tries to create a special classifieds marketplace separate from search results (a la Google Local). eBay has made a big push into classifieds lately and several classifieds aggregators have emerged (e.g., Indeed, Oodle). And then, of course, there's Craigslist.
Here are some questions:
- What form will this ultimately take?
- How will it affect newspapers (competition, distribution or both)?
- What about direct advertiser relationships?
There are probably plenty of verticals eager to deliver a feed to Google for the promise of traffic. All this remains to be seen.
I'll do more on a full range of things later tonight.