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The Next Local Online Advertising Media: Not Google?

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Google is the single most popular search engine right now. And it's not even close.

According to CNET, Google is way over the 60% mark as far as popularity for searches. That means, of course, that they're also getting the lions share of advertising dollars on the Internet. To the tune of billions of dollars, of course.

And where does their success lie? To hear CNET tell it, the answer is painfully obvious: efficiency.

"And although countless tech pundits will chime in and discuss exactly why Google has been able to run roughshod over its competition, few will point out one basic fact that is too often overlooked: Google search is designed to get rid of you as quickly as possible.

Surely, some will attribute Google's success to its better search results or Yahoo's management troubles or Microsoft's poor offering, but it goes far beyond that. Search isn't simply about relevant results or the competition. Instead, search is all about getting you to your destination as quickly as possible."

But as dominant as Google is, both nationally and locally, the real question is not who is dominant now. It is who will be running the show tomorrow.

Robert Scoble, a blogger of prolific proportions and one of the most read men in the tech industry, points to a battleground that's been brewing for some time.

He says, and we see a lot of validity in his argument, that the next big thing is going to be reviews and how those are collated and monetized. And of course, Google is involved in that battle:

"Both Facebook and Google are beating each other up to lock up the next phase: social recommendation and participation.

Google calls this FriendConnect.

Facebook calls this “Facebook Connect.”"

That's right. Linking local search with recommendations from friends and colleagues. Be it through social networking (Facebook) or a classic search (Google). That is the battleground. And the winner will walk away with the next big payday in the Web Marketing Wars.

So who will win? That we can't say for sure. Scoble suggests that it will be a matter of who markets better. We can't disagree. Generally, the best marketing wins. Why would the next big advertising platform on the web be any different?

He also suggests that whoever of the two uses video more effectively will find the audience naturally moving toward them. We can't disagree with that either.

We'll be watching and make sure to keep our clients at the front of the heap with these changes.

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