SEO News
Search

Yahoo Local Officially Launches

author-default
by , Comments

After just two months in testing, Yahoo has pushed its local search out of beta and is giving the service prominent exposure on the Yahoo home page.

When I reviewed the beta launch of Yahoo Local, I was impressed with the look and feel of the service, as well as the comprehensive results. The new version of Yahoo Local is even better.

The company has taken several steps to improve relevance to get more precise local results, according to Paul Levine, General Manager, Yahoo Local.

Yahoo Local has been tuned to provide more context-specific results based on the user's perceived intent.

Levine said that the newly launched service is also more comprehensive than the beta version, with more than two million new listings.

The user interface has been streamlined, both on the Yahoo Local home page and search result pages. Results now look very similar to web search results. The most notable change has been to the search refinement tools, which have been throughly exposed on the left side of the page. In the beta version, refinement tools such as the ability to limit results by distance, category, rating, price and so on were available through drop-down menus. These menus have been replaced with explicit links that show the total number of results that will be displayed for each type of refinement.

Yahoo has also added "Also try" links to the top of result pages, similar to the refinement option recently introduced for web search results.

The "view results on map" feature is more prominent, with a map icon enhancing the previously generic button used to access this feature. Driving directions from Yahoo maps have also been added.

The details page for each individual business is cleaner, with more of a business card feel for each listing. The ratings and review area is also more prominent, separated from the business listing with a blue background. Radio buttons used to rate a business have been replaced with star icons. Mousing over the stars indicates the rating - from one star (hated it) to five stars (loved it). Simply click a star to cast your own vote.

Levine said that ratings and reviews have proven to be one of the most popular features of Yahoo Local. "We've had really positive response to user ratings and reviews," he said. "I've been blown away by the quantity and quality of the reviews we've seen so far."

Users have created ratings and reviews for a broad spectrum of businesses, including things like auto dealers and dry cleaners, Levine said.

Although Local search is replacing yellow pages on the Yahoo home page, Levine said the company still plans to maintain its yellow pages listings, in what he calls "the trough" on the left-hand side of the Yahoo.com home page.

Want to discuss or comment on this story? Join the Yahoo Local Grows Up discussion in the Search Engine Watch forums.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Yahoo News Results as an RSS Feed...
Search Engine Watch Blog Oct 3 2004 11:49PM GMT
Using Google for African Studies Research...
ResearchBuzz Oct 3 2004 7:17PM GMT
Contextual Advertising on a Tear...
Traffick Oct 3 2004 5:52PM GMT
Political Campaigns Are Missing the Boat on Paid Search...
Business 2.0 Oct 3 2004 5:51PM GMT
RSS Penetration Among Online Publishers...
Topix.net Weblog Oct 3 2004 5:13PM GMT
Click Fraud Rises With Online Ad Spending...
CMP Net Asia Oct 3 2004 4:43PM GMT
My Experience of Google's Censorship...
Epoch Times Oct 3 2004 3:10PM GMT
Gigablast Grows...
Search Engine Watch Blog Oct 3 2004 3:01PM GMT
Keyword Search Presidential Debate Audio...
ResourceShelf Oct 3 2004 2:18PM GMT
Google China censorship: more...
p2pnet.net Oct 2 2004 11:42PM GMT
Annotate And Collaborate On Webpages In Real-Time - Gibeo...
MasterNewMedia.org Oct 2 2004 3:48PM GMT
Google Challenge: Keeping Wealthy Workers...
Reuters Oct 2 2004 2:38PM GMT
SEO and newsletter copy...
Pandia Oct 1 2004 10:26PM GMT
Net Stocks: Lawyers' search-engine ads seek Vioxx victims...
CBS MarketWatch Oct 1 2004 3:03PM GMT
Infoviz for Info Pros: Information Visualization Software Tools...
Information Today Oct 1 2004 11:29AM GMT


The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Recommend this story

comments powered by Disqus