Partners With Microsoft

AT&T subsidiary will be including its paid advertising listings on Microsoft's local search sites (Live Search and Live Search Maps properties) in an distribution agreement announced yesterday.  The deal in effect replaces Idearc's (owners of relationship with Microsoft and means that AT&T has closed distribution agreements with AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

What does this mean for local online advertisers?

Perhaps it's now time to consider promoting your local businesses' Web destination on the network. There are free listings available but paid listings are what will get you new customers from exposure in the search media properties of Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo.

Unfortunately, there is little in the way of ad pricing on the site itself (and no self-service model?) but Video Profiles, Premium Inventory Listings, Search Engine Solutions and Web site solutions could be worth the time investigating. 

UPDATE: Idearc has formally responded to this post.

"Our agreement with MSN was expiring in April. The traffic from MSN had not met our expectations and had not performed as we had hoped, so we would not have renewed that agreement without significant changes. We are continuing to pursue other opportunities for our advertisers -- given that we have a performance-based model and a different strategy than MSN."