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Dramatic Changes At Yahoo Local

Shiny new look and better integrated data

2:41 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Users in the US are being treated to a new interface on Yahoo Local [local.yahoo.com].

Larry Dignan has a nice short summary, Yahoo Local Revamped [blogs.zdnet.com], which claims that results for outlying areas have been improved.

As the update does not cover the UK I can't dive in and see how good the results are; I'm sure members on the other side of the pond will be able to report back on this though.

3:33 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The problem with these local community/review type sites is that people spam!

I just did a quick search for the city I'm in and there was a construction company which people were raving about. All 5-star reviews. It was rather obvious that it was spam from the company itself.

3:34 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Took it for a spin, and the results look good, but the interface needs a few rough edges filed, IMHO.

There's a lot of details in the results. When you scroll down to see the lower results, the map scrolls off the screen, then oozes its way back to its original place. It's a very weird and distracting effect.

This choice may have something to do with the fact that contextual ads are below the map and also ooze their way around the screen.

5:44 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Boy, my local sites are obviously worth more than I thought if Yahoo is putting this much work into local.

I dunno how they are going to make this pay. But, they have clearly decided that they are going to take "local" seriously. Quite frankly, someone should.

Thanks for catching this. This is very interesting to many here.

6:25 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That floating map / right column content really is annoying, (and appears to slow the page down when scrolling).

IMO - unless you're designing a video game, nothing on the screen should move around.

6:51 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Yahoo Local Blog [ylocalblog.com] has a great synopsis of the changes, including algos that will take into effect your past preferences whenever you search, i.e. personalization.

This looks like a winner to me.