Recent News Roundup

One of the challenges with local is query disambiguation: getting a machine to essentially “infer” a human being’s local intent from a limited set of keywords (“dentist,” “plumber,” “attorney,” etc.). Generally, the more keywords users type into the search box the better and more relevant the result, because the engine has more information. Analytics firm OneStat released data yesterday about how many keywords people use in their queries:

Of all the search phrases world wide, 28.91 percent of the people use 2 word phrases, 27.85 percent use 3 word phrases and 17.11 percent use 4 word phrases. Less and less people use now 1 keyword since the last measurement in July 2005.

According to comScore there are approximately 26 million monthly users of classifieds sites in May of this year and traffic in the category grew overall by 35% vs. a year ago. Local classifieds marketplace LiveDeal announced that it grew at a rate much faster than that (163%) during the same time period.

Marchex is going to offer Industry Brains‘ contextual ad capabilities on consumer-facing OpenList to provide locally targeted contextual ads on OpenList SERPs. Here’s my previous post about the acquisition of OpenList and what it means for Marchex. Here’s the company’s press release. And here’s Shankar Gupta’s article in today’s MediaPost (reg. req’d).

Directory and local search software vendor Innovectra announced a relationship with SEM firm Search Mojo. The deal gives Innovectra’s directory publisher partners the ability to sell/resell calls and clicks driven by Google, Yahoo! and MSN/Windows Live.

Ahmed Farooq, who’s a fairly regular reader and commenter, sent me an email that he’d put together LocalBrit.co.uk in about 24 hours. I did a couple of quick searches, which yield a set of listings on a Google Maps interface. On the one hand that’s really impressive. But on the other, as he said to me in his email, it “sort of underlines the need of having relevant data.”

This is fairly old at this point, but Motorola announced last week a multi-year deal that it would embed Yahoo services (search, email, etc.) in its handsets on a global basis. Motorola has a similar but much less sweeping deal with Google.


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