Sept. 28 was an interesting day on several fronts in the local search and online ad spending business, but I'm not sure that it has gotten sufficient coverage. My colleague Michael Boland did write a brief blog titled "Local Search on the Rise" on that day. Overall TKG hasn't said an awful lot about some of the information that came out that day.
I attended Incisive Media's Search Engine Strategy local event, which was covered by TKG associate Peter Krasilovsky in this blog "SED Local: The Long Tail in a Yahoo!/Google World." The conference covered the subjects you would expect in a local search event in two tracks: issues and tactics. Presumably, the purpose of the two tracks was to attract those people in the business to discuss the issues of local search and the agencies/advertisers to understand SEO/SEM opportunities in the tactics sessions. Former ILM Program Director Greg Sterling was one of two moderators (along with Chris Sherman), and you can read Greg's sage take about the status of local search here.
The fastest-growing medium globally is the Internet because of its ability to target its customers so well. EMarketer praised the growth of online advertising spending with feint damning by saying that the growth is slowing down, at least on a percentage basis. That is a problem every other medium would like to have. Finally on Sept. 28, comScore said that "local search continues to gain momentum." In fact, 63 percent of U.S. Internet users performed a local search online in July, a 43 percent increase vs. July 2005. What's curious is that all this is going on while the industry is still trying to find its legs. Internet Yellow Pages, a cousin of local search but one that facilitates users targeting into exactly what they want, is holding its own. That's not likely to change as long as IYP has salespeople. The consumer is way ahead of businesses and education requires teachers, which is what the feet on the street provide.