President of Verizon's Internet division Eric Chandler announced a partnership between SuperPages and Google on Day 1 of Drilling Down On Local, as mentioned earlier by Greg.
The deal will position Verizon as an authorized AdWords reseller and give it an additional platform to offer its SME customers part of a bundled ad strategy it hopes will appeal to more local businesses. Given Google's own traffic and it's relationships with AOL and ASK.com to distribute its ads, this deal will also greatly extend SuperPages online reach. It already has a deal with MSN Local to provide listings.
Google meanwhile gains an additional sales channel (Verizon reps) into the local marketplace. It hopes to use this to bring in more AdWords customers among the majority of local businesses that aren't technically inclined to sign up for, and manage, their own AdWords campaigns.
Introducing the vast reaches of small businesses in this camp to the web is also behind Google's strategy with Page Creator. The free website building and hosting tool will be like training wheels for small businesses to get on the web where they are hoped to then transition to AdWords customers.
More on the conference later, and we'll provide a more comprehensive recap in next week's Local Media Journal, and in upcoming advisories.