Interchange announced that it achieved a positive return on ad spend for the month of June. This goal was highlighted during the company’s last earnings call. It means that directionally Local.com is growing traffic and revenue while maintaining costs. CEO Heath Clarke told TKG: "We believe this is a good indicator that we’re on the right track with our local search initiative. Additional market share won’t cost our bottom line as long as we remain positive on ad spend."
On the traffic side, comScore data for June showed that Local.com jumped to the 102nd busiest U.S. Web site. This is an increase from May when Local.com ranked 115th. Mr. Clarke suggests that, "at this growth rate, we’ll comfortably be a top 100 site in July."
Mr. Clarke went on to say: "We’re fifth in the pure-local search market, behind only YellowPages.com, SuperPages.com, WhitePages.com and Citysearch. We get more traffic than Yahoo! Yellow Pages and Windows Live Local, and we’re pleased to have a 5 percent U.S. Internet audience reach in the most valuable search advertising area (100 percent local searches)."
Bruce Crair joined the management team one year ago and was recently promoted to president and COO. Mr. Crair was cofounder and COO of ZeroDegrees, which was purchased by IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2004, with Crair remaining active in the company until April 2005. Another ZeroDegrees/IAC alumnus, Peter Hutto, was added to run corporate development and partnerships. In April, Jennifer Black joined the company as vice president of marketing from Autobytel. Finally, Lee Siegfried, former COO at Future Trade, was tapped to run engineering.
What does all this mean? Mr. Clarke says, "The next major traffic milestone is 10 million unique monthly visitors, which we’re working hard on." A deeper look at the biographies of the management team suggests the positive announcements will likely continue. There's a track record here of building and executing on complex businesses. And local search certainly fits the bill.