‘Search Starts Here’: Neg Norton and Bill Dinan Look at the Future of Local Search

Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics and chairman of LSA, and Neg Norton, president of LSA, kicked off the general session today with a look at the Local Search Association of the future.

Bill said there are two critical factors in the local search industry’s future success.

“Success in the industry will be based on people understanding two things: where advertisers are going technologically and where technology platforms are going … We need to make sure we’re on convergent paths.”

Bill, LSA’s first chairman that doesn’t come from a publisher or CMR, believes Yellow Pages publishers have strong assets – sales people, feet on the street, local market experts – that give them a unique advantage in the market.  But he believes partnerships are key for the future.

In his state of the association address, Neg showed data from comScore that suggests mobile will be the transformation driver of the local search space in the days to come.

The share of web traffic originating from mobile devices more than doubled last year, growing from 7% in December 2011 to 15% in December 2012.  comScore found that 48% of mobile phone users access local content, and account for 27% of web traffic for directory and resources searches.

Neg said LSA is unveiling a new digital dashboard to provide members with real-time usage data from local search sources, and will be investing in more analytics and insights tools to keep members ahead of the changing market.  By broadening the analytical tools LSA offers members and making an extra investment in research, we can support our members to transition to digital and to provide value to new digital members.

Beyond research, Neg said that LSA will to amend its bylaws and take a fresh look at all of its services to better accommodate our growing diversity of members, as digital and social companies.

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