Citysearch Reviews Deal For Insider Pages
A reviews-based local search company that had not fared well in the battle for eyeballs will become part of IAC’s Citysearch.
Insider Pages will be on the move, as they give up their Redwood City offices in favor of IAC’s four walls. Citysearch will plug in Insider Pages’ user reviews of local businesses, and have over a million of them to offer visitors.
The purchase should help boost Citysearch’s profile against rival services like Yahoo Local. As a market segment, local search has been forecast as a growing and lucrative one.
"Through this acquisition, Citysearch will strengthen our breadth of user-generated content across numerous business categories nationwide," said Peter Horan, CEO of IAC Media & Advertising.
Borrell Associates predicted a $7.7 billion market for local online advertising in 2007. Of that figure, about $4 billion should find its way into local search.
Leaving all that money on the table for Google and Yahoo to scoop up wouldn’t make much sense. While a new search engine isn’t going to surpass either of those sites for market share, the value-add of reviews and other user generated content in a smaller niche could be a winner.
TechCrunch has previously cited rumors about Insider Pages being acquired. Insider Pages also dumped a lot of staffers in late 2006, due to heavy competition from Yelp and others. Matt Marshall at VentureBeat noted Insider Pages had multiple bidders for it, but Citysearch offered the most complementary option for its services.