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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What would you like to search for?
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.
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.
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.
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 ;)
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...