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When will Google Local reap $39 billion local ad sales opportunity?

Google Local for FREE: What about $39 billion local ad sales opportunity?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor on
On Monday, I heard Google CEO Eric Schmidt extol a $800 billion worldwide advertising opportunity. Why then is he giving away the local advertising store for FREE, Google Local? 

In announcing its latest Google Maps enhancement, the Official Google Blog waxes poetic:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why we've added photos to Google Maps local search. Now you can compare the sea views and room interiors for beachfront hotels in Honolulu or drool over the dishes served at steakhouses in Boston.

The Google Maps (free) Google Local punchline:

If you're a business owner, you can now upload photos of your business to Google Maps using the free Local Business Center.

What is Google’s FREE Local Business Center? 

Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find you. Use the Local Business Center to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they'll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even coupons to print out and bring to your shop. It's easy, free, and you don't need a website of your own.

Catch their eye with printable coupons
Google printable coupons are a free and easy way to bring in more business. You decide what your coupons should say, then customers print them out and bring them to your store.

Eric Schmidt wants every penny he can get of the $800 billion global advertising pie. Why then is Google touting FREE Google Local when the local ad sales opportunity is a $39 billion one (by 2011), according to the just released Kelsey Group’s Global Directories Forecast 2007?

I analyze the Google Local ad sales strategy and end game in “Google Local at Google.com” and  “Google: $31 billion local dilemma.”

Perhaps we will know more in just ten days, when the Kelsey Drilling Down on Local conference is set to kick-off, and I will be there!

I reported extensively on Kelsey’s local conference in Philadelphia last December and will be bringing you the same day by day, local play by play straight from Santa Clara! STAY TUNED!

FOR NOW: CitySearch bails out InsiderPages: What’s the deal? and IAC CEO Barry Diller on Ask.com and Jim Lanzone’s vision for Ask.com: ‘Real Deal’ Interview

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