Since This Was Yahoo! Local Search Day

Here’s an interesting article from AdAge that is a Q&A with Frazier Miller, a member of the Yahoo! Local team I haven’t met (or if I have forgive me). He discusses the evolution of the local model from a “monologue” to a “dialogue” in which users are interacting with each other and potentially merchants:

Ad Age: Yahoo’s version of local search is really social search as well. Tell me about it.

Frazier Miller: If you rewind the clock a few years ago, we spend all our time thinking about local merchants and users trying to find info on a local basis, like you had in the newspaper and Yellow Pages models. These were a monologue as opposed to a dialogue. … There’s more effective ways for users and merchants to have a dialogue. For users, we’ve had things like ratings and reviews. We just hit the 2 million number in terms of ratings and reviews.

But I very much feel like local is expanding from a look-up use case or the old Yellow Pages approach to a browse-type use case, where you want to bring in user-generated content elements to make a decision. … It’s more of a research and comparison shopping case.

As readers of this blog know, I generally agree with this viewpoint regarding the evolution of the product and the role of “online word of mouth” (user reviews and referrals). Traditional word of mouth remains a huge source leads for both consumers and local businesses, even as elements of that phenomenon move online.

More than InsiderPages or Judy’s Book, Yelp is probably Yahoo! Local’s most direct competitor online.

One Response to “Since This Was Yahoo! Local Search Day”

  1. The Praized Blog » Blog Archive » Yahoo: Local Search is Like Social Networking Says:

    […] Greg Sterling comments on his blog that he “generally agrees with this viewpoint regarding the evolution of the product and the role of “online word of mouth” (user reviews and referrals). Traditional word of mouth remains a huge source leads for both consumers and local businesses, even as elements of that phenomenon move online.” […]

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