Local Search in Poland

Today I am going to finish up my interview with Mariusz Gasiewski. Mariusz worked with the biggest yellow pages website in Poland Eniro Polska and has since moved to a new company to work with AdWords campaigns.

Q. What is biggest difference in local search in US vs Poland?

A. The local search market currently is not as developed in Poland, as it is in United States. We have three important yellow pagescompanies, which are active online and offline: Eniro Polska , Polskie Ksiazki Telefoniczne , and Ditel . There are a few which are active on-line only like: YellowPages.pl .

Internet search engines play a larger part in the local search market in Poland than in United States. The most important search engine in Poland is Google. There are no calculations about Google’s share in local search here, but it might be higher than in US. Yahoo and MSN are not active in Polish Local Search market at all.

Similar to US local search market, portals are getting more attention.  A few months ago, the most important portal in Poland (Onet.pl) launched Zumi.pl, which wants to become one ofthe most important local search websites in Poland.

Q. Where do you see local search going over the next few years in Poland?

A. During the next years,  local search in Poland will grow quickly. As I see it, Poland could be like US 2 years ago. We have more and more map websites. They want to be active in the Internet, they invest in yellow pages listings, AdWords campaigns and so on.

More and more small business owners are ordering web sites for their companies. The value of only the yellow pages market (off-line and on-line) was about $100 million last year. If we add to this, that the Internet grows ~60% year to year in Poland, than we can assume that the game will be about more and more money.

Q, What about local search in general?

A. I see higher and higher importance of video, multimedia, voice and mobile in the future. The number of mobiles and palmtops will increase more than computers. Beside mobile is more convenient in many situations (you want to find nearest restaurant when you are hungry right away not a few hours sitting next to the computer). Some companies noticed new opportunities already and started to prepare their offer for video and mobile in Local Search.

Q. Anything else you want to add?

A. Local Search gives the opportunity to small business owners to win their market for a small amount of money (if you are small restaurant in Chicago at Catalpa Ave you do not need to win the market in all of Chicago, 1 mile around your place will be enough). Now if you have the knowledge, you can promote your business successfully even for even less. In local search is more about knowledge than about money.

If are able to combine the knowledge about your business (like restaurant owner knows how to run restaurant and what is important for customers) with the knowledge about promotion in the local search market (especially on-line, which is probably the cheapest way to get customers), then you are the man!

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