Obscured a bit in the A9 vortex is this announcement that Google is providing a much more granular tool for local advertisers interested in limiting their AdWord buys to specific locales or cities. I find this interesting as it points to Google’s willingness to be responsive not only to users, but to advertisers as well. Of course, offering users more relevant, localized ads can also be considered a service…. MediaPost, CNET, and the NYT report. I’m quoted in the NYT piece, seemingly beating on Google, but it’s not quite in context – I was saying that Google Local (not the local ad product) is still beta, and that Yahoo has been more aggressive in commercial search than Google to date.
Apparently Google’s move to aid local advertisers will really help merchants in Europe, who previously could only target at the country level. Now they can literally target by distance – say within 20 miles of a place of business. This kind of lat/longitude-driven metadata will open up a $12 billion local advertising market (US alone). And it soon will be integrated into the aforementioned Google Local, which was rolled out (as a beta) last month.