From BusinessWeek.com's THE FUTURE OF TECH Let your fingers do the clicking
With Web giants Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. storming into the local advertising market, the telephone companies can't afford to sit still. For decades their Yellow Pages books have dominated the ad game for small businesses, and they simply have too much money at stake.
They ALREADY have the small business as a client, just leverage that by offering a website/webhosting service. When that is introduced, a true database of local merchants is available and local search is complete.
Two Bells decided that if anyone was going to take the Yellow Pages online, it had better be them. They pooled their Yellow Pages sites in a joint venture, bought rights to the YellowPages.com name, and tapped 32-year-old BellSouth exec Charles Stubbs as CEO of the Pasadena (Calif.) venture.
What the phone companies do have in their favor is feet on the street. Their thousands of sales reps pound the pavement in towns where Google and Yahoo merely float in the ether. The reps have such deep relationships with their clients that the renewal rate for Yellow Pages' advertisers is more than 90%
The pitch to local customers these days is straightforward: Keep it simple and buy all your advertising, online or off, from us. The salespeople can bundle ads in the printed book with ads on the YellowPages.com site.
Google is big because they took a tool that is used everyday on the PC and advertisers paid big bucks for the search query words (keywords). Mobile search will be a tool used everyday, and as soon as advertisers find a way to monetize what the search words are....there's your next Google.
This is how Google dominates local search