According to a WebVisible-Nielsen survey from October 2007, 74% of people use search engines to find information when purchasing a product or service from a local business. Yet millions of businesses don’t have websites, and even those that do, don’t often engage in search marketing because they lack the time, knowledge or resources. To address this gap, our AdWords Local Markets Team has partnered with companies including Yellow Pages directories, website developers and traditional media businesses to help create search-based ad products and strategies.

We recently hosted the first annual Local Markets Symposium at our Mountain View Googleplex, which brought together more than 150 current and prospective Google AdWords Authorized Reseller partners to discuss how we can bring the power of local online advertising to small and medium-sized businesses. An array of experts spoke, including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, local advertising guru Greg Sterling, industry bloggers, a Wall Street analyst, as well as a panel of local AdWords advertisers. What became clear throughout the day is that there’s a tremendous opportunity for local merchants to grow their business through online marketing.

If you’re with a company seeking to promote the adoption of search engine marketing by small and medium-sized businesses, visit our Google AdWords Authorized Reseller site.

Update Feb 25, 2010: Fixed link to reseller site.