Watch out Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it looks like your smaller competitors are ready to strike back.
Local advertising provider and New York start-up Yext is teaming up with local sites such as Yelp, AOL’s (NYSE:AOL) MapQuest, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Citysearch in what is being characterized as an “anti-Google alliance,” according to media reports.
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The rivals are looking to launch a program that targets local ads from businesses, similar to Google Tags, a free business listing with Google Places that enables users to find local businesses more easily. At $25-a-month, the tech behemoth allows businesses to link their Google search results with features such as restaurant menus and coupons.
The Yext participants will offer a $99-a-month service allowing businesses to add a marketing message, including promotions, to their phone-and-addresses information, which typically appear during a normal search. The difference is that tags through Yext’s program will appear on a dozen local websites, as opposed to just one in Google’s case, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The move is in response to Google’s recent yet rapid expansion in the local ads business. Google recently launched its tag program and attempted with little success earlier this month to acquire Groupon, one of the leading local ad sites. The leading search engine continues to bolster that portion of its sales, and has hired a slew of sales representatives charged with doing just that.
Other smaller sites that rival with Google are looking to grab a piece of the market before Google, in typical Google-fashion, takes off in the market.
According to the Journal, citing research from Borrell Associates, local businesses are expected to spend about $13.6 billion on online ads this year. The number could be as high as $16 billion next year.