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Verizon online directory in ad deal with Google

Verizon Communications Inc.’s online directory on Tuesday said it has linked up with Google to provide search advertising services to its millions of listed businesses.
/ Source: Reuters

Verizon Communications Inc.’s online directory said on Tuesday it has linked up with Google to provide search advertising services to its millions of listed businesses.

SuperPages will offer its advertisers the ability to bid for Google search terms where appropriate for their business in a resale agreement that could open up a new avenue for local advertisers seeking potential customers online.

“We don’t have as much traffic as Google so this gives our advertisers a much broader reach and gives Google access to small businesses in their localities,” SuperPages spokeswoman Dana Benton Russell said.

SuperPages is part of the Verizon Information Services division, a $3.5 billion business that provides yellow pages and shopping information in print, on the Internet and via wireless carriers. SuperPages alone has about 16 million businesses listed, the company said.

“We’re pleased Verizon is an authorized AdWords reseller and helping local small businesses take advantage of the opportunities of search advertising,” Google said in a statement.

SuperPages sales staff will be trained by Google to use and manage AdWords purchases on behalf of their clients.

Local search is viewed as one of the most promising growth areas for Web search companies, which earn the lion’s share of their revenue from search listings targeted more specifically to individual users.

But connecting small businesses without technological infrastructure to an expert bidding system for search terms has proven a longer-term process than linking up large national advertisers, the core of search advertising revenue.

Google created a resale framework for its AdWords search program in late 2004 in a partnership with BellSouth Corp.’s online yellow pages.

In December, Verizon said it would consider selling or spinning off its directories unit. Analysts estimate the division could fetch as much as $17 billion and would invite interest from Google and rival search engine Yahoo Inc.