The scope of how big the internet has become is no big news. Almost every household, even poorer ones, have access to a computer and those who do not can easily go to any Seattle library and get online with a library card.
What is a big deal is how quickly local advertising is heading towards the internet. It was expected that television, radio, and print advertising would not be really threatened by the internet for another five years.
That time is now.
Yellow book companies from Seattle to Portland are reporting a drop in earnings and renewal rates by at huge rates. Some of the largest ones who seemed stable several years ago are going through bankruptcy or close to it (like DEX).
People have found that it is easier to find what you need and want by going to the internet.
If a woman springs a leak in her house she is not running to the phone book anymore. She is running to the internet and typing "plumbing Seattle Wa" into Google. Statistics show that she will go with one of the first three companies she sees.
This trend is accelerated in the Northwest as people in this area have always been more tech and computer friendly.
What does this mean?
Since people are running to the internet local Seattle businesses are running there as well.
Every company has a website by now but now the pressure is on them to figure out how to make them rank in a high position. Anyone not on page one for a local search term that describes their business is going to be left in the dust.
How are they doing this?
The local companies who have a good reputation and a great team are seeing an expulsion of growth. Search engine optimization is something few people know much about and those who do are being scooped up. Companies around the Puget Sound are racing to their their websites ranked to the top of Google before their competitor does. Google owns the marketplace and if you want to rank well on their search engine (which owns about 85% of the online marketplace) you have to know what they like and what they do not. Internet advertising is not a matter of choice now. It has become an actual need.