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U.S. Newspapers Start Selling SEO

Your local newspaper may soon offer SEO services. Heck, maybe it already is.

Two of the three biggest newspaper publishers in the U.S. have recently announced that they’re selling marketing services to small/local businesses … and those services include things like SEO, local search marketing, and more.

gannettlogoGannett Newspapers is the latest to hop on the SEO bandwagon. The nation’s number one publisher recently opened GannettLocal, a small business marketing division based in Phoenix. The independent Gannett Blog recently quoted a memo written by GannettLocal chief Brad Robertson, who explains the company this way: (emphasis mine)

“GannettLocal is a new business model focused on working with small and medium sized business to provide them a high-touch marketing consultation and a suite of multiplatform solutions (search engine marketing, e-mail, digital display, website, and geo-targeted print/flyers) delivered by a team of dedicated experts over the phone.”

GannettLocal’s web site is more specific in detailing what’s available to local businesses in the Phoenix area:

With the power of Gannett, the company behind USA Today, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, we can jump start your advertising. What can we do for you?

  1. Build traffic to your business and your website by getting you great placement on Google, Yahoo and Bing
  2. Help your customers find you by getting your business on Google Maps
  3. Ensure you stay top-of-mind through attention-grabbing advertisements in The Arizona Republic, the largest local newspaper in Arizona

There’s small print at the bottom of GannettLocal’s home page that says “Powered by Orange Soda.” That’s a Utah-based online marketing company that was founded in 2006. That, combined with the fact that most of the recent job listings from GannettLocal are sales positions suggests that Orange Soda is doing the online marketing and GannettLocal is handling the sales.

McClatchy Newspapers recently announced a similar partnership. The number three newspaper publisher is partnering with WebVisible to offer the latter’s online marketing services “to every McClatchy U.S. market” — 30 daily papers in 29 cities — by the end of 2010.

From the announcement: (emphasis mine)

“The move gives McClatchy’s local advertisers the most efficient way to get found by customers no matter how they’re looking — in newspaper listings, newspaper web sites or search engines, or via mobile phones or navigation devices.”

McClatchy has already been offering marketing services in places like Tacoma, Fresno, and Kansas City.

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