I thought this recent article on CNN Money about YellowPages.com’s success with in-text advertising provides an excellent illustration of how our industry is migrating from business-focused to consumer-focused strategies.
For those who are not familiar: in-text advertising is a sort of hybrid between SEM and hyperlinking.
It works by allowing businesses to advertise through key words that appear within the text of high-traffic sights, such as Fox News, MSNBC, or iVillage. These words appear hyperlinked, but rather than just a single underline, they are recognizable by a double-underline that produces a small pop-up ad box when the word is scrolled over.
In practice, CNN Money reports that Yellowpages.com:
… would pick key words, like “restaurant,” that could be highlighted in the story… If users rolled their mouse over the word, a Yellowpages.com search box would appear, showing a link with search results on local restaurants in that user’s zip code.
The future of our industry is about making local search information available in all places at all times. Rather than waiting for consumers to identify a need and then come to us, we increasingly need to anticipate their needs and put ourselves where they are.
Whether its through GPS mapping, mobile applications, or in-text advertising, our ultimate goal is to always make local business search data just one click away.
Exciting stuff. Keep the innovations coming, guys.