Yahoo! Brings Community to Local Search

  |  August 17, 2005   |  Comments

Yahoo! has updated its local search product, broadening search results beyond business listings to include user-generated content.

Yahoo has updated its local search product, broadening search results beyond business listings to include user-generated content.

A local search on Yahoo of any city in the United States will return listings of local events, user-recommended restaurants and other local establishments. Now, it will also show what other searchers in the same city have been looking for lately, and highlight the most recent ratings and reviews of local businesses.

The strategy has significant implications for local businesses, not only in that it presents a new audience for targeted local advertising, but because it also presents a new -- and free -- opportunity to get their business information in front of users. By ensuring their business profile information is updated and accurate, businesses are more likely to appear in results for relevant searches. Providing incentives to current customers for ratings and reviews means business can rank higher in search results.

"What we're beginning to see here is a broadening of the definition of what local search is. It's a lot more than finding a business when you're in need -- it's about community," observed Justin Sanger, president of local Internet marketing firm LocalLaunch.

By harnessing the local information and expertise distributed among local residents and bringing it together in one place, Yahoo has the potential to differentiate its offering from a growing number of competitors, according to Greg Sterling, director of the interactive local media program at The Kelsey Group.

"We've had IYP [Internet Yellow Pages] and local city guides for a long time. In terms of a general-purpose front door to local information, this brings together a lot of elements that are invaluable," Sterling said.

While the advertising opportunities themselves have not changed -- Yahoo still offers its Local Sponsored Search pay-per-click ads and enhanced local listings for $9.95 a month -- the potential for increased traffic and additional ways to be found that user reviews and ratings present add value to both.

"This creates new advertising opportunities if they get more traction. They've already established themselves in a leadership position, and this will only put them farther ahead," Sterling said.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Newcomb

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Downers GroveWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager...
    • Internet Marketing Specialist
      Internet Marketing Specialist (InteractRV) - DallasInternet Marketing Specialist InteractRV - Anywhere Telecommute, USA SEM | SEO | Content Creator...
    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...