BusinessWeek has a great article on the Local Internet market and how Google, Yahoo!, The Yellow Pages, and entrepreneurs like us are all trying to grab a piece of the 15 billion dollar market.
Who can blame us when according to comScore Networks, search engines are already attracting 66% of online local-search users, while the Yellow Pages listings get 34%. These are pretty drastic numbers in my opinion and that's not all, check out this exert from the article.
"Researchers at Kelsey Group predict $3.8 billion of Yellow Pages money will move online by 2008. To put that in perspective, the total Internet ad market was $9.6 billion last year. "The local search market should be larger than [Google's] other markets because most people's purchases are local," said Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, at an investor conference on May 25."
Interesting stuff! We're pretty much at the birth of the Local Internet and seeing what may come is definitely exciting.
But, what's more important are that the millions of consumers online looking to find relevant local information will have the tool they need and that the millions of small businesses will have the channel to reach them.