Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

MSN Partners With SuperPages.com for Local Ads

MSN’s local search engine began a few weeks ago to include three local search ads, provided by Verizon’s SuperPages.com, for every search result. The ads are a mix of pay-per-click, pay-per-call, and fixed-rate pricing; all are sold by Verizon’s local sales teams.

Local results for SuperPages’ ads appear at the top of the results pages for MSN Local Search which MSN launched last June. MSN Search (now known as Live Search at www.live.com) doesn’t provide local results automatically, but if you qualify a search with a location (such as pizza East Hanover NJ or pizza 07936) the local results will be shown at the very top, above the natural search engine results.

These listings come from SuperPages.com’s list of local advertisers for the given locale and are then selected by an MSN-developed algorithm. Pay-per-click and pay-per-call ads are selected first, and if there are not enough pay-per-performance ads available, the remaining units are populated with fixed-rate ads. Interestingly enough, some of these results appear to be for businesses without web sites. In those cases, there’s no web site link, but only an address and phone number.

In the past, Rank Magic has advised clients that SuperPages ads are usually overpriced for the value they bring, and we’ve advised against spending money there.

We are reconsidering that now for clients who can benefit from local search on MSN.

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