Google: $31 billion local winner?

Google's local initiatives took center stage at the Kelsey Local Interactive media conference in Philadelphia last week; Many still believe Google will dominate any opportunity it sets its sights on.

Is Google destined to be the defacto leader in the $31 billion global local search and online classified advertising market opportunity? 

Many still believe Google will dominate any opportunity it sets its sights on, and it is eyeing seemingly all of them (see "Google: Monopolist in the  making").

Google has been particularly anxious to replicate its search leadership in local, everything local, both online and off. 

In October I put forth “Google failing to snag $116 billion print, radio, television ad markets.” To date, it is still the case.

Google Radio EXCLUSIVE: Audio Ads in pictures!”

Google is nearing its one year anniversary of the dMarc Broadcasting acqusition, purchased to further Google's mission to bring "targeted, measurable advertising" to the entire world, including radio.

Google is also nearing its promised launch date for Google Audio Ads "beta." Prior Google radio advertising launch dates have come and gone, however. Is this time the charm? Google only has a few weeks left to announce the debut of its radio advertising product in 2006.

Google’s $48 billion Print Ads test: Fourth time’s the charm?”

Although Google is dubbing its latest effort at bringing the Google “targeted, measurable advertising” magic to the world of offline print advertising, a “alpha test, it is actually Google’s fourth time at bat.

Powerful newspapers…’will not use Google to sell large advertisements and those in the most popular positions’ 

It is also doubtful that "small businesses" and "those in far flung locations" have been eagerly waiting for Google to avail them of its "targeted, measurable advertising," in print. 

Google: YouTube won’t cannibalize TV” 

I revealed Schmidt's designs on TV last August, as I report in "Google CEO wants $74 billion TV ad market." Schmidt touts that Google has a ‘good shot’ at delivering ‘targeted, measurable television ads.’ 

Richard Kimber is a new member of the Google South East Asia team and he has set about on the Google PR mission of assuring South East Asia television that Google does ‘not even see itself as a media company.’ 

On the heels of Google's acquisition of YouTube, Kimber is anxious to assuage Australian television; ‘We don't see it as cannibalising the TV, but more as an adjunct to it.’ 

How about online classifieds? Way back in May I put forth: “Google Base no category killer.” 

Google’s local initiatives took center stage at the Kelsey Local Interactive media conference in Philadelphia last week; by 2010, global local search and online classified advertising will be a $31 billion market opportunity, according to Kelsey Group forecasts. 

Dan Rubinstein, SME Business Platforms, Google, kicked off the proceedings with a “featured presentation.” What did he feature? Google’s ad products targeting local merchants and small businesses. 

As I recount in “Google pitches Google,” Rubinstein’s presentation was an itemization of the various products and services, tests and betas, that Google has introduced aimed at the local space; Rubinstein even held up an Intuit QuickBooks “enhanced with Google“ software box to illustrate the Google local product range. 

Rubinstein’s presentation was an almost verbatim replay of Google product announcement press releases and was accompanied by slides mirroring the go-to-market product sales pitches presented at 

To date, Google has not succeeded in gaining critical mass among local merchants. SEE: 

Google wants $10 billion local ad spend


Can Google win in Local?”


"Google QuickBooks 2007: Death to Yellow Pages, newspapers?” 

While Rubinstein provided a straightforward description of Google products in the local space, a convincing case for Google dominance in local was not made. 

Michael Adelberg, Partner Development, Google, spoke on two panels; His remarks also focused on putting forth the Google product and service mix. 

At the “Mapping Innovation & Advertising Initiatives” panel, Adelberg was asked to speak about Google’s recently announced “free” Click-to-Call in Google Maps (see “Can Google win in Local?”): 

Kelsey: Will Google charge for the service in the future? 

Adelberg: It’s a learning experience. 

Kelsey: What have you learned so far? 

Adelberg: I haven’t seen any data. 

At the “State of Local Search “ panel Adelberg spoke about Valpak’s free-to-Google direct feed of its coupon content. I asked Adelberg what the click through rates on Valpak’s no-fee-to-Google listings are. Adelberg suggested I ask Valpak.

Rubinstein also participated in the "Next Generation Ad and Product Models" panel, along with representatives from SpotRunner and Bid4Spots, two companies operating in the local radio advertising space.

Rubinstein was asked by Kelsey to speak about Google's local radio initiatives, its dMarc acqusition of last January. Rubinstein declined, saying he is not the right person to ask.

Google representation at conferences is always highly anticipated; It is disappointing, however, that Google is not forthcoming.

More Kelsey Conference Coverage:


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