Industry News

The next big thing in online real estate: Local paid search

New trends in online advertising level playing field for small businesses

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If you own a small real estate business, don't be surprised if search engine giants Google and Overture show up at your door this year to woo you into plans for a locally targeted paid search world. The worldwide Web is finally figuring out how to facilitate local businesses like real estate. Paid search is heading in new directions and the major players are honing in on local advertisers. Geo-targeting searches by ZIP code presents a great opportunity for real estate brokerages, perhaps the most location-specific business of all. "Local search is still at its beginning," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer, which provides statistics on Internet, eBusiness and emerging technologies. "The pinpointing of where people are is still imperfect for various reasons." Take an Inman Pulse survey on Web advertising. Local search right now is somewhat limited to search queries in which the person enters a combination of keywords that include a city name. For instance, a person...