Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves Bow Local Search Tools|
Two major search providers have rolled out new local search offerings. Yahoo! bowed a beta test of its local search platform, and Ask Jeeves debuted a partnership with Citysearch to provide local content on its results pages. The news follows closely on the heels Google's own local offering, introduced in March and also in beta testing.
Yahoo!'s new local search product, available at local.yahoo.com, combines Yahoo!'s own search technology with Yellow Pages, maps, third party and user-generated content. It features 14 million businesses found in Yahoo's Yellow Pages directory along with narrowing tools that let users refine searches according to such modifiers as distance, rating and category. The offering also lets searchers rate and review businesses, as well as personalize their experience by saving recent locations they've searched on.
"A great search experience is about more than just offering users relevant and comprehensive Web search results. It's also about creating an experience where we can quickly and easily provide users the answers they are seeking, whether it's the best Italian restaurant in their neighborhood or the nearest museums while traveling," said Jeff Weiner, SVP of search and marketplace for Yahoo!
Simultaneously, Ask Jeeves has reached an agreement to license local content and business data from Citysearch to power results on its search portal. The licensed content, which provides Ask Jeeves with a more robust local search offering, should be implemented on Ask.com in September.
The deal will help power "Smart Search" local search results on all Ask Jeeves content. It was accompanied by the announcement that Ask Jeeves has also rolled out maps and driving directions similar to those offered by Mapquest and Yahoo! Ask Jeeves developed these services using licensed data from a third party.
These data offerings will complement existing local search offerings such as weather, movies and "white pages people search." According to Jim Lanzone, Ask Jeeves' senior VP of search properties, it's hard to overestimate the significance of local searching on Ask.com and its sister properties.
"Local search is a major category for Ask Jeeves," he said. "About 10 percent of our searches are explicitly local. In the past year we've been sequentially addressing that need with weather, people search, local white pages and movie times. By utilizing Citysearch's content-rich structured data, combined with our own proprietary technologies, we will make a significant step toward creating the smartest and most robust local search experience online."
The agreement will not directly affect Ask Jeeves' ad operations, most of which come through its longstanding partnership with Google. Ask Jeeves recently renewed its sponsored listings partnership with the search giant, which means keyword bidding and management on AskJeeves will be tracked and served through AdWords.
"Just by virtue of our relationship with Google, we benefit from their improvements with AdWords in the local space," said Lanzone. "They've done a lot of work in geotargeting, and we are recipients of that. Really it's incumbent on us to improve the site experience for users."
For Citysearch, the relationship creates a distribution channel on one of the most rapidly growing Web properties. Through recent acquisitions, Ask Jeeves has become the sixth most-trafficked Web site on the Web. For its part, Citysearch features approximately two million editorial and user reviews and ratings of local businesses.
The market for local search services is believed to be enormous. Kelsey Group has estimated local searches account for above 25 percent of commercial searches performed by online buyers.
Google and Yahoo! have both already rolled out local targeting for paid search ads. The products, which allow advertisers to target their listings according to geographic radius, are aimed at capturing part of the $2.5 billion the Kelsey Group predicts local paid search will generate in domestically by 2008.
Microsoft Rules Another Market With Small Biz Server|
Microsoft's Small Business Server is a remarkable hit, said a research firm Monday as it released the results of a survey that claimed an astounding 86% of small and midsize businesses either use the server bundle or are planning to deploy it. "Who knew this was going to be such as huge hit?" says Laura DiDio, the Yankee Group senior analyst who conducted the survey of some 500 small and midsize businesses, as well as resellers and consultants.
Government Pays for Online Search
The UK government has started advertising on Google in order to tempt more visitors to its website. Directgov, the government's flagship website, was launched in March but has not attracted the numbers hoped for.
McAfee's ePO IDs Rogue Systems, Secures Networks
McAfee on Monday rolled out an refreshed version of its system security manager, ePolicy Orchestrator, that adds features to detect rogue systems and applies security policies to non-compliant machines.
Web Portal Software Vendors' ROI Comes Up Short
Software companies that sell Web portals and the technology used to customize them and integrate the applications with other systems fail to satisfy 4 out of every 10 customers' expected return on investment, a market research firm said Monday.
E-Mail Is Risky Business
E-mail-based virus attacks might threaten business operations and managing spam can drain productivity, but inappropriate employee use of e-mail can place intellectual property at risk and potentially open businesses to lawsuits.
Slim Majority of Web Users Connect With Broadband
For the first time, a slim majority of U.S. Net users are connecting via broadband. In July, 51 percent of America's home online population was using broadband connections, according to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings. Before July, the majority of Americans connecting to the Web did so with narrowband or dialup connections.
Internet Posts Fastest Growth In Political Spending
Political spending on the Internet is growing faster than any other medium, as candidates and their supporters experiment with the Web's ability to reach potential supporters, a study released Thursday showed.
Ask Jeeves Launches Japanese-Language Search
Ask Jeeves has launched Ask.jp, a beta version of a new Japanese-language search engine. The search vendor joins Google and Yahoo as one of only three search portals in Japan that provide their own search technology.
Big Companies Ignore Most E-Mails From Customers
Less the half of the worlds best-known companies respond to e-mails or messages submitted via corporate Web sites requesting product information according to a survey conducted by Common Sense Advisory.
The Best Times To Send Marketing E-Mails
The delivery rate for permission-based e-mail marketing campaigns varies by up to 10 percent, depending on the time of day and the day of the week that messages are sent. According to research from Return Path, delivery date and delivery time are just as critical to the success of e-mail marketing campaigns as ISPs and spam filter triggers.