Marchex Acquires Open List Assets
Greg Sterling, principal analyst of Sterling Marketing Intelligence, said the acquisition will bolster Marchex's direct navigation properties--sites with URLs that derive from keywords rather than brand names, such as www.lasvegasvacations.com, www.90210.com, www.newyorkdining.com, www.frenchrestaurants.com, and www.chicagoluxuryhotels.com. "It's more interesting than it may appear, because Open List has a methodology to local search that's very sophisticated," he said. "It really puts the meat on the bone to those direct navigation sites that Marchex has--which are, otherwise, just a bunch of advertisers and not much else."
Founded in 2003, Open List collects user reviews from around the Web and aggregates them into Zagats-like hybrid reviews.
Sterling added that Marchex potentially can beef up its sites with Open List's reviews. "What this does immediately is--it gives them some real content to put on those sites, and it gives them some other things to offer their partners," Sterling said. "Instantly, a newspaper or a Yellow Pages company who might want to work with Marchex and want some user-generated content might get that content delivered to them as part of the deal."