Local search promises to be the "next big opportunity" for search engine marketing, search news website Search Engine Land has claimed.

The website notes that as directories such as the Yellow Pages become "increasingly outdated" and people become more adept at searching for local products and services on the web, local search has the potential to be an important part of search engine marketing in the future.

Apparently the local search engine market is becoming "increasingly fragmented" as new services are launched on a regular basis.

But there are a number of opportunities for internet marketing using local search engines, the website claims, particularly with the development of embedded maps in search results.

Google began embedding maps in search results last month, the site claims, while Ask City has recently added an embedded map feature to its search results.

The embedding feature allows maps and locations to be posted as an image onto a website.

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