Marissa Mayer Takes the Yoke of Local

News comes from Bloomberg that Marissa Mayer is now in charge of local at Google:

Marissa Mayer, Google Inc.’s vice president of search products, is taking a new role overseeing location and local services — markets the company is counting on to boost sales.

Many have blogged about this already. Google has a veritable cavalcade of online and mobile consumer products directed at local and more than few different ad offerings: Tags, AdWords with Location/Phone Extensions (online and mobile). It also has a local AdWords reseller program, which has just been resuscitated.

It’s not clear at the moment exactly what Mayer’s precise role will be. Will she sit on the product side (over John Hanke’s group) or will she preside over all of local including ads and at least some of mobile?

It would be incorrect to say that the company is now taking local seriously. For quite some time Google has been “serious” about local and location (and Mayer has been indirectly involved in the company’s local efforts in the past). But this formal move indicates it wants to bring some greater, shall we say, “coherence” to its product efforts at the very least.

Bloomberg quotes “the company” (Google) in the piece:

“Marissa has made an amazing contribution on search over the last decade, and we’re excited about her input in this new area in the decade ahead,” the company said.

Local and location are very strategic on the consumer side and there are considerable ad dollars out there that can be extracted from brands and SMBs alike — if they’re properly educated about the power and value of local.

Her efforts will probably be directed to the consumer experience in the near term. Her previous, high profile involvement in search also means we’re likely to see even more crossover between search and Maps/local. Indeed, David Mihm, Chris Smith and Mike Blumenthal have all recently logged about new SERPs showing local results more prominently.

I think we can safely say, beyond Search, that Google’s most successful products include Maps and Android at the top of the list. Maps is explicitly local and mobile has a substantial overlap with local and location.

The fact that Mayer is now a part of Google’s operating committee also indicates the priority of location/local within the company.

I also think that Mayer will find that local is to Web search as ultimate fighting is to boxing.

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One Response to “Marissa Mayer Takes the Yoke of Local”

  1. Kim LaFleur says at

    I like your final analogy Greg. Agreed!

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