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EBay The Latest To "Get" Local Search Potential

Andrew Goodman
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-12

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At first I wasn't sure about eBay's new Kijiji service, essentially an international answer to Craigslist.

Would this new brand gain traction? Why not use a different brand, like eBay Local, or indeed Craigslist, to accomplish the same goal?

But it's probably the case that Craigslist wouldn't resonate or translate well to other places, so the new approach -- intended to facilitate transactions amongst locals who are buying and selling items that are cumbersome to ship -- may be the best one. I was curious as to why you would need Kijiji in a city like Toronto, where Craigslist has already started to grow. But I see Kijiji is currently only being piloted in Montreal and Quebec City, places where Craigslist may not resonate as well.

eBay definitely has something interesting up their sleeve, even if they say the launch won't materially impact this year's revenues.

Not long ago, Jeff Bezos made an interesting point -- that "local search needs are most acute." But maybe put in plainer language, local transactions are just different. Why would you want to go through the trouble of having that leftover slab of marble or rare photograph shipped to you when you could not only view it but tote it back to your place after purchase? With Kijiji, a text ad for "Schnauzers on sale now," will no longer just be a joke about dynamic keyword insertion.

eBay, of course, has a 25% stake in Craigslist, and has no plans to launch Kijiji in the United States.

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About the Author:
Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients' paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded Traffick.com, an acclaimed "guide to portals" which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.

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