Tony Wright at SearchEngineWatch had an interesting post regarding Google's Local Search Land Grab.
As anyone who has ever done directory work before (Hey Tom!) knows, the infrastructure costs are prohibitive in as much as the legwork and the adminstrative work involved more often than not prove prohibitive barriers to entry.
Interesting that Google has solved both, turning once again to its infrastructure base at the academic and collegiate level to accomplish both, the required feet on the ground, and the data entry.
Google never fails to recognize the value of every dollar and it perhaps for that reason they see so much of a return on every dollar.
The ability to aggregate has always been key to their business model and the aggregation model has always been one that has made the advertising industry what it is.
Local search. Done on the cheap. And monetized.
Should be interesting to watch.
Have a good one.
~The (SEP) Guy