Google’s flip-flopping with local.google.com and maps.google.com illustrates the largely ambiguous nature of a very large “local” opportunity: $5.3 billion by 2010, according to the JupiterResearch “U.S. Local Online Advertising Forecast, 2005-2010”.
Despite the attractive numbers, there is no clarity on what “local” is. All of the major players in the online local space keynoted at The Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media Conference last December (where I had the pleasure of speaking on the “Hyper-Local Content Sites” Panel), and they all presented different interpretations of local. Proclamations offered by MSN Local Search, Yahoo! Local, Google Local Search and AOL Search and Directional Media ranged from “local is the most important vertical” to “local is not a vertical”. When the closing panel of VCs was asked to encapsulate the local opportunity with a 2-minute “elevator pitch”, none was offered.
Do you know what local is? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” below to share your idea of the local opportunity.