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Guaranteed Clicks For Local Search Ads Doesn't Mean High Visibility

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The Magic of Seeing Your Search Ad from Justin Sanger at ClickZ probably should have been titled, "The Dirty Little Secret Of Local Search Click Fulfillment." For the past 18 months or so, a variety of new local search packages and programs aimed at small, locally-oriented merchants have sprung up. They've often had a simple pitch. "You'll get clicks!" It's a focus that's alarmed me given that search marketing in general has progressed well past rankings, clicks and into conversion.

Justin explains how the click guarantees may get fulfilled by ads placed well of the regular beaten track of the major search engines. He's not suggesting that the clicks don't convert or that there's fraud going on. Rather, he points out a more basic problem.

Those buying the ads may be small businesses, but they're savvy enough to want to actually see their ads on Google, Yahoo and other major players. When they don't, they get frustrated -- a bad move for a new advertiser audience the industry is trying to attract.

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