It is oft-repeated that there are “300,000 local advertisers online.” But it doesn’t strain the imagination to suggest there are at least 400,000. And that’s just on the search and pay per click side. Overall, there may be more than 900,000 local businesses advertising online.
It is all guess work on our part, but here is how we calculate. Google is close-lipped, but it is thought to have over 150,000 local advertisers. Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture) might have another 100,000. And then there are the localized efforts run by the remaining portals, and many smaller players to contend with, including the contextual networks, the social networks, and various other local services.
And all this is just for search and clicks. Looking at more traditional local advertising products (i.e. enhanced listings), the number of local online advertisers swells exponentially. Why does it matter how many local advertisers are really budgeting for online? Because the higher number shows that most local sites are really underperforming.