Citysearch acquires Insider Pages

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Local search, directory and media company Citysearch has agreed to acquire Insider Pages, a reviews-based local search company in Redwood City, CA.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"With this acquisition, Citysearch will acquire Insider Pages' wealth of valuable content from its valuable community of avid users," said Brandi Willard, the senior marketing manager of Citysearch, San Francisco. "In addition, Citysearch will welcome Insider Pages' highly talented management team and skill for cultivating a strong community."

"Users are demanding more and more local content. This acquisition buttresses our leadership in original user-generated content and is an example of our strategic commitment to adding fresh, new content every day," Ms. Willard said.

Insider Pages helps people find the best local businesses through recommendations from their friends, community and expert reviewers.

The site has more than 600,000 merchant reviews of local businesses in 30 markets across the U.S. and 2 million unique users monthly, according to comScore Media Metrix in January 2007.

Citysearch will now offer consumers over 1 million user reviews and local market directory information across more than 500 business categories.

How will this acquisition help marketers? Ms. Willard gave three benefits:

- Increased content means more engaged, active users. Competitively, no national company online or offline offers the depth of original content in a number of local markets as Citysearch does. Insider Pages' content will enhance user engagement with all aspects of our site, from editorial to sponsored placements.

- Larger user base. The acquisition broadens our user base as Insider Pages has over 2 million unique visitors per month, giving marketers the opportunity to reach a larger audience that is ready and eager to buy.

- Category expansion. Citysearch already has strong traffic in categories like bars and restaurants, as well as traditional yellow pages' categories like home and garden.

Insider Pages will keep its brand identity and positioning in the market, while complementing Citysearch's growing local reach.

"The acquisition of Insider Pages will help Citysearch expand our consumer base for our merchants while maintaining our leadership role in the best local user content and reviews," Ms. Willard said.

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