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Yahoo Local Improvements Are Pleasing Consumers
Study says Yahoo ties Google for Local Search satisfaction

 2:08 am on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

The article [weblog.infoworld.com] is about the big engines customer satisfaction overall, but, it had a blurb on local search that I found to be quite interesting:

Also notable is that local search results appear to be key area of user frustration and an emerging battleground for customer loyalty.

Yahoo made improvements in this area in the past year, with the launch of an expanded local search service. According to Keynote, Yahoo showed significant improvement in the ranking of the quality of its local search results, tying Google in leading the industry in this category.

Across all search sites, almost one in four (22%) users complain that the local results are not what they are looking for or are not ranked appropriately.

I was actually kind of surprised Yahoo Local didn't outrank Google, considering, as a consumer, I find Google's Local Search to be subpar.

That aside, I was surprised to see that such a large number of users not being able to find what they want via local search with the bigger engines. I'd say it leaves the door wide open for new players to do it better and earn consumer loyalty in the arena of local search before the larger engines do.



 12:14 am on Jan 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the post Rae.

I am pretty certain that Y does in fact have the lead from a local search utility standpoint.

>>it leaves the door wide open for new players to do it better and earn consumer loyalty in the arena of local search

This, I am less certain about. What an innovator has to consider is *destination* or *distribution* or *both*. or acquisition. Neither is achievable without significant capital, superior products and time. Many will try and many will fail.

If you look at a group like Interchange (since we are already talking about them) (a public company by the way, if you want to dig deeper) ~their model is predicated on distribution. The focus is on the platform and its use by third parties -200+SEs in the case of Interchange. This technology + distribution model has significant challenges.

If you look at a destination model (Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Mapquest) for the innovators, the challenge of "customer loyalty" is immense. Usually by the time a product is gaining enough traction it will be bought up and never realize destination value. Destination is a terrific challenge in the face of the leaders.

I am trying not to write too much here. ahhh. just an interesting topic to me.

In short any new local search utility that tries to compete will require destination and distribution value. Many will try, most will fail, and the ones that are the best of the best will be bought.


 2:37 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I definitely agree Chicago. I can only imagine what it is going to take for new local search players to "make it". And yes, earning customer loyalty (i.e. eyeballs) is indeed only one aspect of what these companies need to do. I would even venture to say the distribution part of it might be more important than the destination portion. However, some of these new players may need to win some of the desination battle to prove themselves worthy of being distributed or bought. But, this is just a hobby for me (learning about LS) so, it is interesting to hear your thoughts.

>>>and the ones that are the best of the best will be bought

A lot of companies probably have this as their goal from the start.

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