The latest deal involved Findology, a California-based company that operates the Zipcodez.com local search engine. Idearc will now place its PFP advertisers on the Zipcodez.com site. According to the press release, Zipcodez serves “3 billion searches per month.”
This deal continues a pattern of deals from Idearc to build its distribution platform, via small and large partnerships or acquisitions. At the top of this list is the September acquisition of Switchboard from InfoSpace. Other smaller deals in the same vein include agreements with YellowUSA.com, Intellistrand, WhitePages.com and others, plus its acquisition of LocalSearch.com from American Town Networks.
On Idearc’s third-quarter earnings call, CEO Kathy Harless asserted that, “Throughout the year, we have discussed with you the three distinct components to Internet local search that are required to succeed — content, technology and traffic. We have consistently advanced on each of these areas with a laser focus on traffic.”
Out of curiosity, I tried a few searches on Zipcodez using my local ZIP code (in suburban Chicago) and the results were mixed. Searches for “office supplies,” “plumbers,” and “heating and air conditioning” turned up zero results (except sponsored links and listings), while “restaurants” returned a limited set of listings that appeared to be accurate and all of which linked to Yelp listings with reviews. A search for “coffee” included several local coffee spots, as well as a local car dealer. These also all linked to Yelp listings with reviews. The site did return reasonable search results in these categories for a ZIP code on Chicago’s Near North Side. These results also link to Yelp pages for the listed businesses.