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Overture tests local searches.
Yahoo geo-targetting?
robertito62




msg:802671
 5:32 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Overture testing a new local search product since last week.

Demo [localdemo.overture.com]

News here [marketwatch.com]

 

heini




msg:802672
 6:14 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think that's brillant. Exactly what I'm missing when researching where to buy stuff in the neighborhood.

Shak




msg:802673
 6:26 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

excellent find!

Shak

heini




msg:802674
 6:28 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any bets Google will be first to put this out? Exactly what happened when OV announced Content targeted ads...

Chndru




msg:802675
 7:07 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think that's brillant. Exactly what I'm missing when researching where to buy stuff in the neighborhood.

I second it :)

martinibuster




msg:802676
 7:13 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

This makes it convenient for finding the nearest escort service or theater.

This is a definite threat to MapQuest because you can enter a zip code and the name of the business and be taken straight to a map. Much simpler and user friendly than the mapquest interface.

If anyone is a victim here, it looks like Mapquest and Yellow type pages, and possibly the citysearch type pages might feel a pinch from this.

jimbeetle




msg:802677
 7:17 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just like radio was going to be dead but is a cash cow because of all the local advertising dollars out there.

A great idea, but needs a lot of work. For the term and location I tried (neither at all obscure) it seems like the geo-targeting is a bit off as the sponsored listings in the left frame are very, very general in scope. The search results themselves are very disappointing: only 4 of the first 10 had anything to do with the term (again, not obscure).

It's a great idea, this is were many advertising dollars are spent, they just have to make it work.

jhood




msg:802678
 10:14 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very cool. I typed in the most mundane thing I could think of -- lawn mower service -- and got the very shop that just finished tuning up my Lawn-Boy earlier today. There was also a nice mix of local and national ads for neWebmasterWorlders. The map does indeed pop right up without all the clutter MapQuest puts you through.

rogerd




msg:802679
 10:28 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

What data is being used to generate the business listings? I searched my city for a few services where I know the firms, and there were some noticeable gaps.

lisaevenson




msg:802680
 10:32 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

i typed in our service and our local area and found nothing of our competitors or us - not even relevant results state wide. I would rather go to the phone book, personally. I wouldn't use this at all.

Seach used to be about research and actual information. God, I find myself frequenting Yahooligans anymore cuz I know at least i'll find less ads and more actual encyclopedia data there. I'm not looking to shop every time i search. I'm just looking for a mix of everything - but the best of that topic.

Yellow Pages and Encyclopedia Brittanica are getting my time.

hobbnet




msg:802681
 12:34 am on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lisa,
This is just a test...I'd assume the results will get better before it goes prime time

lisaevenson




msg:802682
 12:53 am on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh, I know. But, I don't use search to find local businesses. I use the phone book for that. Why duplicate what is already working just fine?

The power of the internet was mass information. It seems to have become mass commercialization.

robertito62




msg:802683
 5:11 am on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

lisaevenson,
this is useful. It helps when you have to narrowly search a place where you are not *local*.

If you can access the private forums, this thread: [webmasterworld.com...] (message #29 by cornwall), points out its value.

I had to search a very small town far away from where I live and although this is only a demo, I was surprised by the amount of information I was shown.

fr_cnx




msg:802684
 3:13 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<This is a definite threat to MapQuest>>

I think it is easier for Map & co to move in this direction than for OV to compete in this field!
What about Europe?

martinibuster




msg:802685
 4:01 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it is easier for Map & co to move in this direction than for OV to compete in this field!

Not neccesarily. Sophisticated technologies and bright ideas don't grow on trees. It takes a talented R&D department to bring out this kind of technology, something Mapquest is not known to have.

Mapquest has remained exactly the same for at least four years now (I first heard of them in 1999). Lack of innovation can hurt a company in todays fast evolving environment. Map & Co's only chance is to buy the technology or rent it.

Remember, OV is being swallowed by Yahoo. Will Yahoo share that technology? Yahoo has their own competing map services, I doubt it.

lisaevenson




msg:802686
 4:24 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

And who pays for this? More advertisers? Thus, your search results for the local businesses are limited to those who will pay for listings. Mapquest is free. Nobody can continue forever offering a free service. I stand by the Yellow Pages. Why reinvent the wheel?

heini




msg:802687
 4:30 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Why reinvent the wheel?

Different medium, and one that many people use per default by now.

I know I go ballistic every time I try to find where I can pick up some stuff quickly on Google or ATW, how to get there, do they have a site with current products listed or at least with a phone number.

lisaevenson




msg:802688
 5:06 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

See, theres the problem. Search engines are clearly not listening to their users. Different people search for different things. They should have the google main page say something like:

What would you like to search for?

Commerce/Shopping
Information
Geo-Specific Data

and so on. The search engines are a mish mash of the wrong and too much information. They need to compartmentalize it to make any sense. To have a legit search result have to sit at result number 1,080 instead of 1 due to other "better optimized" sites is obsurd. Why should webmasters sit in the dark ages because the engines are? They need to listen to us. But, the engines haven't grown with the internet. Now, the information is so unmanageable and so large its useless.

martinibuster




msg:802689
 5:40 pm on Sep 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

What would you like to search for?
Commerce/Shopping
Information
Geo-Specific Data

You would adore Ask Jeeves.
:)

nyehouse




msg:802690
 2:40 am on Sep 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


Research I have seen:

Approx 6% of queries have a direct geographic component to it (place name in query) or clear local component (eg: kinkos), while up to 25% of queries have a geographic component indirectly attached to it (eg: cheap hotels or dishwasher).

YP revenue is expected to drop from 20B to 13B over next five years. I wonder where money will go? :)

Local advertising for newspapers and radio is currently a 25B industry.

Local PPC will dwarf national PPC but it will take many years for that to happen.

TGN

Squirrel




msg:802691
 9:57 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Overture is looking for a YP partner to sell these local ads. Their VP for local search has said so. They should, instead, be talking to the local newspapers. YP will not pay ball--why should they? Newspapers, on the other hand, need something to liven up their online experience. This would do it. And newspapers have the sales force and market savvy to make it happen.

Squirrel




msg:802692
 2:42 pm on Sep 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's some more news (from Sept 8) on this topic. InfoSpace has revamped.

InfoSpace News Release [businesswire.com]

I took a look at their "new and improved" interface and they still have a lot of work to do, but, as I said, they need to team up with local newspaper and not try to be a portal.

percentages




msg:802693
 5:58 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Squirrel, nice find on the Infospace article.

But that Infospace site sucks bigtime. I searched for something that I thought should find my company....it did, but it had a phone number against it that hasn't been used in over 4 years, and even then was only used for 2 months while I was relocating the company to another city.

Where the heck did they get this info? It is scary....some poor Joe maybe getting harrassed by callers looking for my company just because he inherited a very old phone number....on the positive side I doubt anyone actually uses this Infospace service ;)

robertskelton




msg:802694
 7:38 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I gave it a single international test:

keyword: books
location: Australia

And it thinks Australia is a small town in Columbia. Perhaps it is, but that's poor.

So I changed the location to Melbourne, Australia and I get "74150 results found". The first few are from the USA and the map shows a spot in the Atlantic just off Africa.

This is what I have grown to expect from US websites. The number of times I have HAD to enter a 5 digit zipcode, even though they let me choose from hundreds of countries on the form...

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