Citysearch buys InsiderPages for an Undisclosed Price

VentureBeat has the news:

Citysearch, the division of IAC focuses on local reviews of restaurants and other services, has acquired the struggling local review start-up, Insider Pages.

The purchase (amount undisclosed) comes at a time of increasing competition in the race to deliver a compelling local search services. Citysearch’s parent, IAC, has already bolstered its local search offerings, namely with Ask City, a property that packages everything from local search to local maps, reviews, and ticket services.

However, more entrants have arrived to nip traffic away from Citysearch, an early player that has seen its traffic stagnate in recent months. There’s Yelp, Judysbook and Backfence, for starters. Earlier today, we mentioned new competitor Outside.in, another company going after the local community news and events area. (…)

Insider Pages has about 600,000 user reviews, and they’ll be integrated into the Citysearch’s offering, she said. It has 2.5 million monthly unique readers, she said, based on Comscore and internal tracking numbers.

She would not say whether the purchase price was more than $10 million invested in the company by Sequoia Capital, Softbank and Idealab. She said there were multiple bidders, but that Insider Pages preferred Citysearch because it is complementary. Insider Pages is popular among suburban parents and homeowners, she said, giving it strength in the home, garden, health and plumber review areas. Citysearch is stronger in bars, arts and entertainment. Citysearch will absorb Insider Page employees in its San Francisco office.

Rev2 says it was sold for “for an estimated sum of $13 million.”

What it means: I’m surprised it was not acquired by a directory company as it would have been a great jumpstart for any user review strategy (becoming more and more important in any local search site). From the article above, it sounds like the acquisition will be complimentary based on different content & users. I know the Citysearch demographics well (Yellow Pages Group used to be the Citysearch licensee in Canada) but I don’t know enough about InsiderPages’ users to really comment on the complementarity.

Citysearch buys InsiderPages for an Undisclosed Price

VentureBeat has the news:

Citysearch, the division of IAC focuses on local reviews of restaurants and other services, has acquired the struggling local review start-up, Insider Pages.

The purchase (amount undisclosed) comes at a time of increasing competition in the race to deliver a compelling local search services. Citysearch’s parent, IAC, has already bolstered its local search offerings, namely with Ask City, a property that packages everything from local search to local maps, reviews, and ticket services.

However, more entrants have arrived to nip traffic away from Citysearch, an early player that has seen its traffic stagnate in recent months. There’s Yelp, Judysbook and Backfence, for starters. Earlier today, we mentioned new competitor Outside.in, another company going after the local community news and events area. (…)

Insider Pages has about 600,000 user reviews, and they’ll be integrated into the Citysearch’s offering, she said. It has 2.5 million monthly unique readers, she said, based on Comscore and internal tracking numbers.

She would not say whether the purchase price was more than $10 million invested in the company by Sequoia Capital, Softbank and Idealab. She said there were multiple bidders, but that Insider Pages preferred Citysearch because it is complementary. Insider Pages is popular among suburban parents and homeowners, she said, giving it strength in the home, garden, health and plumber review areas. Citysearch is stronger in bars, arts and entertainment. Citysearch will absorb Insider Page employees in its San Francisco office.

Rev2 says it was sold for “for an estimated sum of $13 million.”

What it means: I’m surprised it was not acquired by a directory company as it would have been a great jumpstart for any user review strategy (becoming more and more important in any local search site). From the article above, it sounds like the acquisition will be complimentary based on different content & users. I know the Citysearch demographics well (Yellow Pages Group used to be the Citysearch licensee in Canada) but I don’t know enough about InsiderPages’ users to really comment on the complementarity.

Beyond Google: Social Media Engines First, Other Search Engines Second

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land dropped a bomb on the SEO world last Wednesday by firmly putting a new stake in the ground:

“…over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself more and more thinking that if you want to go beyond Google as a search marketer, the other search engines that matter first are the “social media search engines.” After them come the other major general purpose search engines like Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.”

“Search marketers should tap into search engines — and that includes the social media search engines. Neil Patel’s Forget ABCs – The Social Media Alphabet Is DNRS (…) is an excellent introduction to some of these players, for those not up on social media search engines and social media optimization. (…) They are traffic powerhouses you can’t ignore.”

What it means: Wow! Social Media (Digg, Techmeme, Del.icio.us, possibly MySpace, etc.) are now considered to be the second biggest source of traffic after Google for certain types of sites (news, blogs, etc.). Which means Social Media Optimization (discussed in the Praized blog in November) should now be a key element of your traffic strategy. Are you properly leveraging these sites?

Meta-Praized: Computers in 2026, Auditions on YouTube, Time’s Person of the Year Plus: Jajah, CragisNumber, NYC Taxis, Nasa, Ask X & BBC

Meta-Praized is a collection of links & stories we’ve “dugg” on Digg.com in the last 7 days. Feel free to add us as a friend: PraizedDotCom

SES Chicago: Summary of Local Search Tactics Session

Good summary of the “Local Search Tactics” session at SES Chicago on the SearchViews blog. The panel was moderated by Greg Sterling, with Stacy Williams (Prominent Placement), Patricia Hursh (Smart Search Marketing), and Justin Sanger (LocalLaunch!, owned by RHD)

Highlights:

  • Local search is highly fragmented. “Whether it’s standardization, mobile search, or some form of mashup, the panelists agreed that a wide-scale reinvention of local is imminent.”
  • Because of that fragmentation, local search has not delivered on its promise this year
  • Local search is changing user behavior and innovation is growing, but that innovation has not yet translated into equivalent return for local advertisers
  • Local is more about managing the off-page content than optimizing the merchant’s website.
  • “One of local’s biggest problems is that content becomes unstructured as it spreads. 2007 and 2008 will be about structuring business content in order to spread it through local search utilities.”

Justin Sanger suggested some ways merchants can be proactive:

  1. Generate your own reviews and ratings

  2. Ask close customers to generate positive reviews and ratings
  3. Optimize reviews for local search engine results pages
  4. Submit to all free listing services

What it means: I agree that the local market is very fragmented (especially in the US), but not just from the advertiser point of view. It’s very fragmented from the user point of view. Who’s more authoritative? Who delivers the best value? That’s why I strongly support multiple-entry-doors strategies like Ask.com’s in the case of Ask City and CitySearch. Many have questioned Ask about that double-pronged strategy but I believe that, in a very fragmented world, it’s better to cannibalize yourself than be cannibalized by others.

Harry adds: Market segments want different things too, teens with mobile phones and my grandmother need/ want a different local experience, but as intimated above, it’s all one database.