I’m trying very hard to write this f*ing book, my posts will remain light. However, there’s much news in search land lately.
First, Yahoo bought MusicMatch.
Second, Google rolled out improvements to its Local Search – the note I received from Google PR is in the extended entry. (This space will REALLY heat up in the next few quarters). Last week it also updated its Alerts service.
Third, AOL announced a shopping search.
Fourth, Danny Sullivan takes a bow over at Yahoo Search Blog. This has provoked some commentary on whether this is getting a tad too close. I think Danny’s the best, but I’d probably take a pass on this one (then again, they didn’t ask!).
Today, Google launched a number of significant upgrades to Google Local, Google’s local search service. These enhancements and new features are a result of Google’s continuing effort to develop Google Local and make local information even more accessible and useful. The new improvements include:
*Enhanced user interface – a new, cleaner design that now includes maps on results pages displaying the location of businesses in the search results
*New mapping capabilities – users can now zoom and pan different directions on the maps without reloading the page
*Improved comprehensiveness – search results provide links to even more web pages like business homepages and related ratings and reviews
*More relevant results – improved relevance technology returns even more precise results
These features build upon the core technology of Google Local, which combines traditional business listings with relevant information from across the web. This innovative approach does not rely on pre-determined categories and enables Google Local to provide local information that exactly matches a user’s search. For example, a woman in Palo Alto, Calif. could be looking for a restaurant but is on a budget. She would have trouble finding listings that provide this information in the yellow pages or on other local information sites. However, by simply searching for [cheap restaurants] in [Palo Alto] on Google Local, she would find a number of nearby restaurants to fit the bill. Google Local achieves this level of relevance by searching restaurant reviews and other related web pages, in addition to business listings, to return results described as [cheap] on the web.