In a deal signed earlier this week, Google announced plans to partner with telephone giant BellSouth to sell Google's paid search ads via BellSouth's local search directories. The deal is the first to allow a third party to resell Google's AdWords ads.

BellSouth has a sales force of over 2,000 individuals working across nine states in the southeast part of the U.S. The deal would see the BellSouth sales force working directly with the local market to sell AdWords leads along with their current small business listings and Web sites. The direct contact with local businesses is seen as a plus by Google which has traditionally gained new advertisers via referrals and online advertising.

"It obviously extends the opportunity for us to penetrate the small business market with Google AdWords and leverage their sales force," explained Sukhinder Singh, general manager of Google Local to

The move marks a shift in Internet advertising to recognizing the hurdle that small businesses face in using traditional PPC or online advertising. Lack of Web sites, lack of online advertising savvy and fear of unknown marketing outlets has led many small businesses to steer clear of the online marketplace. Localized contact with an already trusted sales force will allow Google to expand their AdWords reach into markets that have previously remained untapped.
October 29, 2004

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Google Partners with BellSouth for Local Search