Google may not have been successful in purchasing local deal finder Groupon, but that doesn't mean the company is giving up its efforts to enhance local search and local advertising. Google's senior vice president, Susan Wojcicki, told the Wall Street Journal that getting into the local ad market is Google's top priority, and perhaps marketers should also be concerned about reaching local audiences.
Wojcicki believes that local online advertising has not reached its potential because there is no local ad model on the web that small businesses can easily use. She told the news source that SMBs need simple sign-up processes and targeting options, and she seems to think that Google will be the ultimate local partner for SMBs – perhaps through mobile ad options.
The Google exec says she is working on answering the question, "How can we enable you, when you're walking around, to find out the best local offers around?" Subsequently, the company wants to address how advertisers can know when their ad impressions lead to conversions.
If, in fact, the link between mobile and local is key, all signs point to a positive future for the Google local market – Wojcicki says AdMob, the company's mobile ad provider, handles more than a billion ad requests each day.
Whether Google effectively gets into the local market or not, brands might be well-advised to enter the local ad space. As consumers increasingly tailor their searches to find local results, local ads may soon be a competitive necessity. According to Borrell Associates, local online ad spend will grow by 18 percent to exceed $16 billion in 2011.