Yesterday Yahoo! announced an upgrade to the local Shortcut that enables greater discovery and interaction around local listings content in Yahoo! search results. Here’s an example search for a San Francisco restaurant, Salt House:
Each of the links at the bottom of the listing opens a window that provides more information: reviews, images, directions:
A couple of emails that I saw yesterday asked why are they bothering after the Micro-Hoo announcement? But this is precisely the kind of thing that Yahoo! is talking about when discussing innovation around the UI and user experience. Hopefully the Microsoft deal will free and embolden Yahoo! to experiment more and create more useful experiences/tools such as this.
There’s a question that remains in my mind about how much effort Yahoo! will put into Local (as in Yahoo! Local) going forward. It was the leading local property for quite some time until Yahoo! started losing people and the site was put on maintenance mode. An analogy might be: a great house that has has been neglected and needs some TLC.
As an aside, somewhat buried in the post, Yahoo! says “About 20 percent of online searches have a local intent.” I would again argue with this figure as too low but it’s significant because comScore’s number has been 12%-13% of search is local.