Just How Big Is The Local Online Ad Market?

Everyone knows that local online ads haven’t really taken off yet, but will one day. But no one agrees about what that means, or when it will happen.

In a new report summarized on Searchengineland, Jupiter Research predicts the local online ad market, loosely defined as display, search and classifieds, will hit $8.9 billion in 2012, with search contributing $2.5 billion to that total.

In December, Borrell Associates issued a local online ad projection, including video and “local banners,” that predicted the local online market would hit $12.8 billion in 2008, with local search contributing $5 billion.

But Veronis Suhler Stevenson says local search was already worth $8.4 billion in 2007 and will grow to $19.2 billion in 2011. The investment bank included $6 billion in online yellow pages spending in their projection.

Translation: Either no one has a clue, or everyone defines “local online advertising” differently. On complicating factor we can think of: Advances in targeting could reclassify a lot of mass-advertising as “local”. Anyone else want to hazard a guess?

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