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Even in the midst of the current economic downturn, online research firm Jupiter Research has predicted that local online advertising will prosper in 2008, growing 12% by 2012.

    An interesting prediction, especially when you consider the current financial troubles at Yahoo! as it struggles to recover from a loss of earnings and compete with Google in the search arena. Still, if you think about it, it does make sense.

    More often than not, if I am looking for a particular product, service, or experience in my neighborhood or those surrounding, I will search the product name, the service, or the type of experience I am seeking (i.e. sushi restaurant, vintage clothing stores, yoga classes), along with the city name or zip code to denote the area in which I am looking. More than half of the time I will visit one or more of the local businesses that come up in the first page of search results.

    Likewise, comScore reported the following similar findings in a relevant report detailing the search behavior of U.S. internet users in July 2006:

    59% were searching for a restaurant or other entertainment venues
    52% were searching for business phone numbers

    47% visited a local merchant after searching
    41% made contact offline

    37% made contact online

    All of this fares rather well for Wpromote’s recently launched MarketLocal service.


    And maybe it is true what they say – that attitude is half the battle.

    So what if people might spend less on advertising during a recession (if it even gets to that point, which remains to be seen)?

    Local businesses are only now discovering the power of the web, and it can only go up from here.


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