GoogleLocal is one of the biggest wildcards in local advertising, with new partners and angles being pursued for AdSense, AdWords and GoogleBase, the new self-serve directory and classifieds product.
Whatever it is planning behind the scenes, Google clearly wants to be seen as a bunch of good guys. Keynoting the Kelsey ILM conference, Google Local leader Shailesh Rao’s presentation was almost entirely data-and-content free, focusing instead on the shimmering possibilities of local information and services.
“We don’t see ourselves in your business,” said Rao. “I don’t feel your pain.” Addressing the controversial rollout of GoogleBase, Rao said it has simply been misunderstood. “GoogleBase is not synonymous with owning content,” he said. “Google Base is to the benefit of owners of content….it is a meaningful, structured (way to do) content.”