Natural Search Blog


SMX LoMo Keynote: Frazier Miller

Frazier Miller, General Manager of Yahoo! Local, spoke yesterday here at the SMX Local & Mobile conference in San Francisco.

Frazier Miller, Yahoo! Local's General Managers
Yahoo! Local’s Frazier Miller

It was very interesting to hear the take on local & mobile from one of Yahoo! Local’s top thought leaders. It was obvious that Frazier has a very tight grip on understanding what motivates consumers and where the trends may be headed in local/mobile evolution.

Some highlights of Frazier’s presentation included: (more…)

Can NearbyNow Escape The Fate of Local Shopping Search Engines?

NearbyNowGreg Sterling points out that a number of companies are attempting to build out inventories of local brick-and-mortar stores and expose this info via search capabilities. Greg notes that NearbyNow has just raised $11.75 million in additional funding, and that there are compelling reasons to believe that local product shopping search satisfies a lot of user needs and conforms to existing shopping behavior. Greg states:

Every shopping engine that doesn’t have this local store data will suffer at the hands of those that do. The significance of this and its potential impact on online shopping (and by extension mobile) cannot be overstated.

My initial gut reaction to NearbyNow is along the lines of: “I’ve seen this during the era of dot-bombs, and it didn’t work — why should it work now?” (more…)

Infospace to Merge with Marchex?

MarchexAt least, that’s what this Forbes article theorizes as one possible explanation, quoting a Wall Street analyst:

“Scott Sutherland, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, said the most likely scenario is that the company will take InfoSpace private to save money or merge with the search and media company, Marchex, whose executives are former executives at InfoSpace.”

Just yesterday, I expressed a bit of confusion about why InfoSpace made deals to sell off their mobile services to Motricity, and sell off directory services to Idearc’s Superpages… (more…)

Is InfoSpace Cashing Out?

First it was announced that InfoSpace was selling Switchboard and other directory properties of theirs to Idearc for $225 million. Today InfoSpace announces that they’re selling off their mobile services business for $135 million.

Infospace

InfoSpace’s release says that they’re selling off the mobile services “…to focus on online search”. They’re apparently going to also give a chunk of this change back to their shareholders in a dividend.

This just makes me wonder, is Infospace cashing out?

Local search has been one of Infospace’s strengths over time — they even changed their core website a few years ago to focus on local search & yellow pages more — prior to that they’d been a more general search engine (they still own general meta search engines like Dogpile.com).

Also, this mobile service sale seems odd since the rest of the internet marketing industry is starting to hyper-focus on mobile search and services.

Even though “yellow pages” directories are not exactly the same thing as local search, you’d expect for InfoSpace to hold onto the assets (and hold onto the mobile services), or to sell the assets to use the money to capitalize on the search areas where they want to focus. So, why are they doing this?

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SMX Local & Mobile Conference Discount

If you haven’t decided to attend the Search Marketing Expo Local & Mobile Conference on October 1 & 2, you’ll be missing out on the newest tips and information for two overlapping search segments that are considered to contain some of the fastest-growing marketing potential of any media around. The consensus prediction is for $8 billion in total ad spending by 2010!

SMX Local & Mobile Speaker

I’ll be speaking on the subject of “Managing a Local/Mobile Search Marketing Campaign” on the morning of the first day. There are also a number of other interesting presentations that I plan to attend, covering subjects such as Local SEO, Pay-Per-Call Advertising, Mobile SEO, Mobile Advertising, and LoMo.

For readers of Natural Search Blog, we’re able to offer a conference discount of 20% off the full registration price if you sign up now. Just go to the SMX Local & Mobile 07 registration, and enter our discount code:

SMX20OffLM

Google’s advent of Universal Search has propelled content from a number of search verticals into the main results page, including content from Local Search in many cases. This development has opened the eyes of many marketers to the fact that businesses with local components really need to specifically target their content to appear optimally under this new paradigm. (more…)

Google Browser Development Confirmed

At the end of July, I wrote that it looked like the Google Browser might actually be in the works after all, based upon their recent hire of a browser security expert. I now see this in this Wall Street Journal article from August 2nd about Google’s push into creating their own wireless phone that they are indeed working on a browser — built specifically for these proposed cellphones:

“Now it is drafting specifications for phones that can display all of Google’s mobile applications at their best, and it is developing new software to run on them. The company is conducting much of the development work at a facility in Boston, and is working on a sophisticated new Web browser for cellphones, people familiar with the plans say.”

Could this be what they’ll have that browser hacker working upon?

(more…)

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