|Yahoo Local and Yahoo YP|
Algo *Answers* vs. Advertiser *Dollars*
Just a matter of time before they fold into one?
I think they're following Google's naming convention?
Structured, paid category driven results sets.
Pure search over structured, non paid *algo based answers*.
Structured, non-algo based paid result sets are not viable moving forward because users will not tolerate (not adopt) poor and non-objective local business result sets when they need answers. Therefore, current IYP environments will lose value as eyeballs migrate to more qualitative and accurate pure search environments.
All of the well established IYPs will have to map there advertiser base to keyword driven, non-structured query sets and create new inventory types around the objective algo-driven answers. No small task.
From a usability standpoint it's terrible. To borrow from a post I made a few months ago on the subject, say I'm looking for a dentist in my city. I have 3 choices: Y! Search, Y! Local, Y! Yellow Pages. Each of those yields its own set of paid listings and its own set of natural listings. So Yahoo will deliver me, the simple minded user, at least 6 different sets of dentists. Me? I'm opening the print YP's.
Consolidating these results requires convergence of multiple revenue streams - unlikely in the short term, IMHO.
Why don't they just employ Interchange's Local-Direct product. As has been mentioned on this forum nothing is as seemless.
The current Yahoo model is confusing and insulting to the searcher.
Reasons not to fold them:
* One: yp-y is competing with the other yp publishers (on and off web). If you are not seen as a distinct yp directory you soon will not be.
* Two: local-y among other features includes visitors ratings - how many businesses will pay for a listing that can be impugned? Or will Yahoo charge less for sites that garner poorer ratings?
I think local-y will remain a subset of search-y (with add-ons) and build on what yahoo claims it is now:
|Yahoo! Local brings together the best of Yahoo! Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Maps, and Yahoo! Search. |
In future search may allow selection/blending of options: local/regional/national/world; images; mutimedia; maps; etc. I do not see a blending of revenue streams, ever.
I see local-y trying to grow another "community" encouraging "member" involvement via adding "favourite places", "ratings", etc. while yp-y sells/displays conventional yp listings, Overture sells/displays paid listings and search-y fills in the gaps.
However, their interface(s) could use a major cleanup. The problem with trying to be all things to all people at all times is clutter.
nice perspective, iamlost, thanks. a couple nagging points remain based upon your ideas: eyeballs and utility.
advertisers follow the eyeballs.
by encouraging/promoting the utilties/differences of the two tools at minimum, you split audiences. fine, i suppose with a ppc model, not fine for yp advertisers with annual pfi agreements looking for return. overtime, wouldn't the yp advertisers in and of themselves, at minimum, demand cross-distribution, notwithstanding consolidation?
then there is utility. look at the blurring of utility already in Y's YP environment, as it incorporates open search, proximity scoring, maps, richer meta content, etc.. in the end, the functions of the YP must change (as they currently are on Y's YP) to incorporate the demands of the user - including *relevancy*, peer review, distance/mapping, richer buying information etc.
the segmentation and progress of local search tools will marginalize the utility of yp structures, or the lines will become increasingly blurred as yps strive for utility, which supports the argument for a single tool.
|the segmentation and progress of local search tools will marginalize the utility of yp structures, or the lines will become increasingly blurred as yps strive for utility, which supports the argument for a single tool. |
I agree but would add that a single tool will destroy the yp revenue stream:
* One: yp-y is hidden - no easy obvious link from yahoo main or my-yahoo (w/o mod).
* Two: yp-y is poorly presented - actual location selection is an "after" choice. Multiple "do this", "click this" loses visitors at each step.
* Three: The actual "use" of yp listings by Yahoo is already, for many/most users, only delivered through local search which is a not very prominent subset of search.
To date, my opinion is that yp-y is an afterthought revenue stream only and I advise my clients not to pay for the privelege of being neglected.
If the entire yellow page format is folded into search it simply becomes over paid inclusion with no control of ratings that could very well be gamed and is then no longer a yellowpages/business directory service.
Until revenue of YP catches up to LS, yes.
I see recognition coming into play a bit. My mom doesn't know what local search means. She does understand what "yellow pages" are. If she is looking for a local pizza place, I'd venture to say she is going to click on yellow pages.
Once people understand that local search is essentially a smart phone book on steroids and opt for LS - the advertising revenue will shift as well - which of course is what really matters - and we'll probably see a phase out/fold in to local search.
It's not all users.
Yellow pages companies pay CMRs commission to sell into (internet) yellow pages. At one point, Verizon made it necessary to sell x% amount of SuperPages ads to make it into the super-special bonus commission tier (which is paid on both offline and online ad buys). Maybe that requirement is still there, I'm not sure. I can ask.
(I)YP advertising will continue as long as CMRs keep receiving commission from YP companies. That mentality is what still drives IYPs.
I wonder who the first local search engine to pay commission to CMRs will be. I think I'll check into that tomorrow morning. CMRs may be the revenue key to local search.
|I wonder who the first local search engine to pay commission to CMRs will be. I think I'll check into that tomorrow morning. CMRs may be the revenue key to local search. |
I couldn't agree more Jake. SMEs are in way over their head with the options, processes, even names of the different internet marketing opportunities avaliable right now. CMRs or any entity that is able to act as an intermediary for the SMEs will drive what is sold initially. Utimately, ROI for the different advertising (IYP, LS, or anything else) will be the determining factor of longevity. However, in the face of a market place that changes weekly and YP brands that are known to SME, the intermediaries (CMRs in this instance) will drive the market.
Last time i checked it cost something like 30k to become a CMR. CMRs are a sign of a mature YP industry that required checks and balances on who could sell YP. We have struck many agreements for IYP that ordinarily would of required a CMR designate to sell YP. Suffice to say, the IYPs and LS providers have loosened their requirements in a marketplace that lacks consumer acceptance and adoption.
That notwithstanding, there are a number of CMRs that are really working hard to sell interactive inventory. Little do they know however, that there are a number of pure interactive aggregators that are leaps and bounds ahead. How? Because the technology and understandings required to sell interactive inventory are very different then that of traditional YPs.
CMRs can help sell interactive product, and shouldn't be ignored when trying to reach SMEs. Niether, however, should web designers, developers, hosters, ad agencies, SEMs, PR firms and a myriad of other (non-CMR designated) organizations.
I think it is important to note that CMR stands for Certified Marketing Rep. They need to get certified in order to sell the advertising because there are so many standards. In one DMA there could be 5 book sizes, each one with its own ad specs, sizes and color usage.
To become a CMR it takes more than money, you actually have to take tests and prove that you understand the print yellow page marketplace. I believe they even come to your office to make sure you have the resources required. It seems like a long and painful process.
Another interesting thing to note is many CMRs go after the big dollar accounts and do NATIONAL advertising campaigns, for the individual franchises or stores, all grouped together with the same branding and marketing approach but usually sold to the individual franchises.
When I worked with a CMR we had like 5 or so major accounts, but would have reached thousands of advertisers/franchise owners, etc, because of the trust we developed with the major corporations over the years. CMR's are often ad agencies who responsible for both online and offline marketing/advertising campaigns for their clients and it is generaly a huge ordeal when a client leaves one agency for another.
I think we will see a huge shift once CMRs/ ad agencies start to include local search in their product offerings. Just imagine when the huge chains/franchises start filling up the serps with paid ads...
I can't speak on how to get there technology wise, however, from a USER'S perspective, the IYP is horrific, Google Local is not much better (although I do like their maps) and Yahoo Local is, at best, the least offending of the three and this is from somebody that hasn't used the "Yellow Book" for years!
If I don't use any of the above, imagine how hard it would be to change the behavioral pattern of a Yellow Book user to one of the above--impossible. To capture a User, it has to be simple, non-congested, user friendly.
I like the format that True Local has. I don't know about the abilities of it's content yet, but I like the looks of both the search page and the answer page. It let me look up a Lasik doctor in Palo Alto, CA as well as my local Pizza Hut with the same ease, so I ordered a Pizza and then read about Lasik surgery while waiting for my pizza!
That being said about the search process, they will have to come through with great content. I did notice that the search tolerated no mis-spelling.
I realize this is polar opposite of Metromix in Chicago and City Search, but if you are trying to look for a plumber or order flowers locally, you just want to get in, get the task accompolished and get out without all the other distractions. Thought it might be generaltional, so had my twenty five year old son search for pizza and he made the same choice. He did add an interesting comment that is very true. When he wants a number, he dials 411, so his generation will probably want all this technology on there cell phones asap. Just my opinion