Yahoo! Offers Cars for Content

In an effort to improve the quality of its local search results, Yahoo has kicked off a contest offering users a chance to win a car, a vacation, or other prizes for rating and reviewing local establishments.

The “Best Of Yahoo” sweepstakes aims to quickly build content for its newly enhanced local search offering, which spotlights user-generated content. In addition to improving search results, the strategy is expected to boost brand loyalty by giving users a sense of community. Yahoo presumably hopes that the increased usership and brand loyalty will attract more interest from local advertisers.

“Yahoo is empowering the consumer with information that was previously unavailable to them by allowing them to tap into Yahoo’s huge network of community knowledge,” said Lorna Borenstein, vice president of marketing for Yahoo Search and Marketplace.

The 54 categories include best value hotel, best “wired” hotel, best cheap eats, best outdoor seating, and best family vacation destination. When users visit bestof.yahoo.com, they are presented with the current Top 10 for their location, which they can either vote for or add an alternative.

Mazda is the official sponsor of the sweepstakes, which gives users up to 120 chances to win a 2006 MAZDA5 or MX-5 Miata — one for each vote they cast through October 4. Mazda vehicles are prominently advertised throughout the contest site, and will be featured in ads for the promotion throughout the Yahoo network. Other prizes include a vacation for two to New York, Hawaii or Los Angeles; or a Dell DJ MP3 player.

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