Local Search Just Got More Interesting as Verizon Buys Yahoo

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo just emphasizes the growing important of local search for small businesses.

Local search engines have been in the news a lot lately as more and more consumers are using their mobile phones and PC’s to conduct local searches for businesses in their area. But things just got interesting with the announcement that Verizon has sealed a deal with Yahoo to purchase most of its assets. In other words, Verizon has just entered the local search business.

“It’s a hot topic,” says a spokesman from FindUSLocal, a local business directory that uses GEO technology to match visitors and businesses from their area. “And it’s only going to get bigger as consumers continue to search for local businesses online.”

The deal was struck between Verizon and Yahoo for $4.8 billion, and includes most of the assets, with the notable exceptions of Yahoo Japan or the Alibaba shares. Verizon recently also struck a deal with AOL and bought that company for $4 billion. Insiders say the mega company will now need to merge all the companies, including the infrastructures.

“Search—and local search in particular—will become more and more important as consumers use their mobile phones to find the nearby restaurants and shops they’re looking for. I predict that those businesses that aren’t positioned to be found in local searches will be negatively impacted in the near future.”

The combination of Yahoo’s search deals with Google and Microsoft and the fact that Verizon is also an ISP and wireless carrier, makes it an intimidating competitor in the mobile search and advertising industry.

“The bottom line is this,” says the spokesman from FindUsLocal, “if small, local business owners want to be found by the consuming public, they have to position their businesses where they look. And right now, most of that searching is done in local business directories.”

About FindUsLocal: FindUsLocal uses geolocation technology in visitor’s browsers to construct a home page focused on their city, town or community. Right there on the front page, they’ll find local weather, sports results for their favorite teams, and announcements of the top musical acts and events coming to their city. Smart business owners list their businesses on the site to be seen by those who are specifically looking for businesses in their local area.

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