Irvine, California – (The Hosting News) – July 10, 2007 – Search engine, Local.com, has been granted a U.S. patent in connection with an ad-supported 411 local search model. The free enhanced directory assistance solution, is supported by referral advertising revenues.
Patent number 7,200,413 was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the method of responding to enhanced directory assistance inquiries using various protocols including voice-enabled and SMS systems. The patent also covers an associated referral advertising model, which is designed to monetize those local searches.
The patent covers a system and method for providing businesses with referral advertising opportunities (such as pay-per-click or pay-per-call) utilizing directory assistance and wireless messaging systems. The model enables businesses to receive search leads on a pay-per-referral basis when their listings are included in a set of search results provided to consumers as a result of an enhanced directory assistance inquiry. The results are delivered to consumers via operator assisted calls, messaging systems such as SMS, WAP, automated voice-enabled systems, or any combination of these. Advertiser listings in this model can be organized by location, referral amount paid, and keyword association.
Heath Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Local.com offered, ”In our view, the burgeoning free 411 marketplace is being underwritten by a variety of advertising supported models. Our patent 7,200,413 is directly related to a referral advertising model such as pay-per-click or pay-per-call listings, which are delivered to consumers as a result of an enhanced directory assistance inquiry or local search, where the results can be provided to consumers via many mobile channels, including voice.”
Mr. Clarke continued, ”Our recently announced patent 7,231,405 was related to the methods used to deliver our highly relevant organic search results. Patent number 7,200,413 is complementary to our local search patent in that it provides us with intellectual property coverage for what’s now a widely accepted monetization method — pay-per-referral — within the directory assistance marketplace. Local.com believes that ad-supported directory assistance is the future of 411 services in the U.S., and we look forward to working with a variety of companies to deliver innovative new products and services to the marketplace. We encourage directory assistance and free 411 companies that are interested in using our intellectual property to enter into licensing agreements with Local.com.”
Local.com attracts approximately 10 million visitors each month seeking information on local businesses, products, services, people and jobs. Powered by the company’s patent-pending Keyword DNA and patented local web indexing technologies, Local.com’s goal is to provide users with targeted, relevant local search results, including special offers from local businesses, user reviews, local businesses’ website links, maps, driving directions and more. Businesses can advertise on Local.com with subscription, pay-per-click, banner and pay-per-call ad products. The site’s mobile service, Local Mobile, provides local search results via mobile phones and devices. Local.com claims U.S. patent numbers 7,231,405 and 7,200,413.
To learn more, please visit: www.local.com.