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screenhunter_31.jpg Here is a sampling of posts from the past week. Click below to read each post in full, and expect more coverage of local search happenings this week, which has already gotten off to a quick start.

A Good Online Sales Rep Is Hard to Find
The sales rep recruiting game has just gotten a bit more crowded and a lot more competitive. As we have discussed at our conferences and in recent Kelsey Advisories, with the influx of new online directory players such as Citysearch, Yodel, LiveDeal and ReachLocal, and the added growth of’s sales force, the recruiting space for online sales reps is much more crowded. If we add in the demand created by newspapers and TV stations also seeking online-savvy sales reps, then experienced online sales reps are as scarce as hen’s teeth or as valued as gold (you pick the metaphor!). (read more…)

Google Earth, Now With Video
Google keeps finding new places for YouTube videos to live. After integrating video with AdSense earlier this week, it announced today that it will embed YouTube videos throughout Google Earth, where relevant. This means any video that is geotagged will show up on that location in the desktop mapping app. This opens up lots of possibilities for travel videos and also small-business video advertising, which is gaining steam all over the place. (read more…)

Survey: ‘Local Search’ Broader than ‘Google’
A new survey of 2,000 consumers by Nielsen/Netratings for WebVisible found that 86 percent of those surveyed used the Internet to find a local business from which to shop, a dramatic rise from a similar survey from last year where it was 70 percent. Most of the respondents — 74 percent — said they use a search engine when they are looking for a local retail or service business. For these consumers, local search isn’t just synonymous with search engines such as Google or Yahoo!. (read more…)

CanWest Goes All In With PPC YP Model
Earlier today I spoke with Gary Campbell, who runs the new directory operation within CanWest MediaWorks, the Canadian media powerhouse. CanWest just finished distributing its inaugural GoLocal directory in the national capital, Ottawa. What makes the product unique is that it is following a pay-per-call model. (read more…)

‘CMR Gateway’ Places National Ads in Indie YPs
National advertising dollars remain mostly elusive for independent Yellow Pages publishers. They get just 5 percent of total revenues from national, as opposed to 14 percent for incumbent publishers. But working to change the situation is the CMR Gateway, an effort placing national advertising from Certified Marketing Rep firms such as TMP, Wahlstrom and others across a network of independent Yellow Pages Web sites. The network consists not only of Internet Yellow Pages solutions, but also mobile YP and sponsored directory assistance. (read more…)

LiveDeal Joins Online Video Movement
Classified aggregator and newly vaunted IYP destination LiveDeal announced today that it will integrate video content to its listings. Specifically, this will allow individual sellers and businesses to upload videos to enhance their classifieds or directory listings. This follows the general trend toward blending video with local directional advertising. With’s video integration last month, every major U.S. IYP now has video capability to some capacity for business listings. For LiveDeal, video now joins a set of content formats it has brought into the fold in the past six months to improve its site experience and expand its monetization opportunities. (read more…)

City Tools: Creating Classified Verticals on the Fly
Crawling and aggregating classifieds on nearby Web sites a la Oodle is one thing. But why can’t local Web sites create verticals on the fly? And in this homogenized era, why can’t they carve out a unique identity for themselves, based on their collection of verticals? That’s the question former SF Gate head Bob Cauthorn asked himself when he started City Tools, an angel-funded venture based in San Francisco. It has been announced that City Tools is working with The Washington Post. Cauthorn expects to announce additional newspaper affiliates in the near future. (read more…)

Google Brings Video to AdSense
Google announced today that it will allow the publishers in its AdSense network to have YouTube videos planted on their sites, while sharing revenues for related advertisements (this has been a closed pilot program since May and is now available to anyone). It specifically involves an additional tab in the AdSense dashboard that lets site publishers choose content providers and categories or add their own keywords to help Google decide what video units are most appropriate their sites (check out Google’s instructional video). (read more…)

YPG Ramps Up Relationship With Google
Canada’s Yellow Pages Group announced this morning that it will expand its relationship with Google to become the first Canadian-based reseller of Google AdWords. This is a significant escalation of YPG’s relationship with Google, which basically involved sharing content with Google in exchange for the enhanced exposure the arrangement provided YPG’s online customers. Now, YPG will add Google inventory to the sales bag of its roughly 900 sales reps. Currently, YPG has about 425,000 total advertisers. (read more…)

Here Comes the Gphone II: Details Emerge
The New York Times sheds new light on Google’s possible moves in the mobile world. The latest is that Google will likely release an operating system and a number of mobile apps, rather than its own phone. In other words, beyond the prototypes it develops to demonstrate its mobile software to carriers and manufacturers, its innovations will reside in software, not hardware. This makes sense and stays true to the company’s DNA. More importantly, this makes Google’s moves into mobile more competitive with Microsoft than Apple (iPhone), as previously speculated. (read more…)

ReachLocal Raises $55.2 Million; Valued at $305 Million
ReachLocal, a provider of local online marketing solutions for SMBs, has raised $55.2 million in new financing. This is on top of the $12.7 million it has raised since its founding in 2004. The new funds give ReachLocal an estimated valuation of $305 million, since it was previously valued at $250 million. The money is coming from Rho Ventures, which recently made a bundle from the sale of Tacoda to AOL. It will be used to continue the company’s rapid expansion both in the U.S. and overseas, and for technology. (read more…)

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