Gannett Discovers Local Search

    May 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The newspaper publisher picked up Planet Discover, a local search and integrated advertising technology company, for its publication websites.

Over 100 websites controlled by Gannett’s (GCI) publishing empire will receive a healthy dose of local search technology. Gannett purchased privately held Planet Discover to fulfill that purpose.

Instead of partnering with an online advertising provider, Gannett, which owns USA Today and about 90 daily newspapers in the US, will keep all the advertising money it garners in-house.

Executives with both companies touted local search as the key point. “Gannett is exactly the kind of partner we need going forward. There are huge opportunities in local search, and Planet Discover is superbly positioned to take advantage of them,” said Terry Millard, president and CEO of Planet Discover.

“Gannett truly understands the importance of local information, which is why Planet Discover is such a perfect fit for us. With this new relationship, we will move more emphatically into deep, robust local search for our 100-plus Web sites,” said Jack Williams, president of Gannett Digital.

Local search is gearing up to reach billion-dollar figures in advertising sales. Borrell Associates has predicted $1 billion in local search ads in 2006 and $4 billion for local paid search ads by 2010.

Gannett isn’t the only publisher to see the glittering salvation of thousands of ad revenue dollars on the horizon. McClatchy (MNI) purchased Knight-Ridder earlier in 2006, and followed that with a local search marketing deal with WebVisible.

McClatchy will use WebVisible’s “Geneva” software to broker deals between advertisers and providers like Yahoo and Google. It’s a different approach than Gannett’s; McClatchy will work with the two big search advertisers instead.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.