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AOL Tests Local Searches

3:08 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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AOL opened up for testing a new local search service, finally adding a component to its search engine that many competitors have had for years.

AOL Local, for now a beta service, lets users find business listings from a specific area, such as a street address, city, state or ZIP code. The service will return a list of businesses, along with a map indicating where each one is located. Users can also obtain driving directions, AOL said Tuesday.

AOL Local has a "powered by MapQuest" tag in its logo, indicating the maps come from this sister AOL property. However, it's not clear whether AOL Local is also tapping other related services like Yellow Pages and City Guide. The service seems to be limited for now to the U.S. AOL didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

AOL announced the beta launch of its local search engine at the official [beta.aol.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 8:16 am (utc) on Mar. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] link repair [/edit]

7:47 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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AOL sold out to Google, I thought they don't provide their own SERPs any more?
4:06 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I cant see much in the way of innovation coming out of the folks at Google.
4:55 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I tried a couple of searches and the results look like phone book listings with a setup for reviews. The information is from InfoUSA. My question is: What's so new about that? Name change? New Tab? etc. I'm not impressed with the following fact: 90% of all local search results on major search engines or portals are derived from the same directory information sources. The difference is how it's ranked and displayed. WOW! So my next question is what has really changed for visitors that are searching locally in the last 3 to 5 years? Not phone book listings, that's for sure. People don't really need a computer for local phone numbers and a physical address. Let me know what you think.