Entering location is a drag. I think that in trying to nail down your location information (for whatever use, but clearly for more than just your search), they've made the interface really cumbersome to use.
It's also slow, and I was surprised on my standard pizza search to get only three results when they had 20 others standing by. The entries for one of the three places first returned appears to be many years old.
Just did a superficial search on some other service-oriented terms. Can't see anybody dropping their Yellow Pages based on the three returned.
Users can use AOL Local Search to find information for more than 13 million businesses and points of interest from AOL Yellow Pages; local entertainment listings, ratings and reviews from AOL CityGuide; movie listings and ticket purchasing from Moviefone; and maps and directions from MapQuest. Paczuski said AOL reaches more than 46.8 million unique users with these combined services.
AOL is also launching an initiative to keep its listings updated by businesses themselves -- the MapQuest Partner Data Program. The program allows MapQuest's 1,200 Business Solutions clients to update their information regularly in the AOL database. AOL gets the underlying directory information from InfoUSA, to which it adds information from its own editors and partners. Its data quality team continually "scrubs" the database to keep it up to date, Paczuski said.
"We've built an experience that's quite a bit more mature than anything else out there. It's more full-featured, bringing lots of content together at exactly the right point to bear on a local query. AOL has long been a leader in the local space, and with this release, we're reasserting our lead," added Gerry Campbell, VP and general manager of AOL search and directional media.