Yahoo Local Is Live

The Beta tag is off, and the Local product, which has new interface features and many improvements driven from its limited beta period, is now live and integrated into the home page. I am on the Yahoo Local advisory council, an unpaid and informal group that Yahoo pinged for feedback…

The Beta tag is off, and the Local product, which has new interface features and many improvements driven from its limited beta period, is now live and integrated into the home page. I am on the Yahoo Local advisory council, an unpaid and informal group that Yahoo pinged for feedback during the process.

I’ll be prepping for Web 2.0 Monday, but Chris will have the scoop here.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

8 thoughts on “Yahoo Local Is Live”

  1. Hey Nancy-

    Not sure what you’re seeing, but I definitely get different results (and a different rendering of results) if I enter a “local search term” (e.g., “pizza 95126”) into Yahoo’s main web search vs. its Local search.

    As I note in my post (on my blog), this is good enough for now, but certainly not the desirable end state (i.e., John’s Perfect Search world).

  2. (John, sorry for the comment flooding)

    Nancy… looked at your search. Yes, that’s closer to what I’d like to see… but it’s interesting that zip codes aren’t supported out of the main search box…

  3. Tony,

    Y! Search does supports ZIP code based search. But, the ZIP code needs to be entered before the search term. For example: http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=94089+florist.

    We have historically not supported users entering the ZIP after the query term, because the level of false positives for followed by is actually very high. That being said, we are working on a novel query analysis technique that will enable users to enter the ZIP after the query term with much lower false positive rates than currently possible.

    Ali

  4. For some reason, part of my comment above was cut when I posted. The second paragraph above should have said:

    We have historically not supported users entering the ZIP after the query term, because the level of false positives for Query followed by ZIP is actually very high. That being said, we are working on a novel query analysis technique that will enable users to enter the ZIP after the query term with much lower false positive rates than currently possible.

  5. Ali –

    Thanks much for the clarification. I’ve passed it on to all who might have read my post (and who didn’t see your comments here), via my blog.

    Full Post:
    http://www.buzzhit.com/2004/10/yahoo-local-search-update-yahoo.html

    Snippet:
    So, net net… Yahoo Local Search is supported through the main yahoo search box, provided you enter a city name with your search term, or, with a zip code, provided you enter a zip code before your search keywords.

    Personally, while I’m glad to see that Yahoo is supporting the majority of use cases (and is working on a technique to solve for all of them), as a fellow product mgmt exec, I find this situation a bit bizzare. Perhaps it’s just me, but in all of the local search testing I’ve done over the past ~ two years (including my time at Overture), I’ve always entered the search topic (“what”) first, followed by the zipcode (“where”).

    Perhaps that’s because that’s how Yahoo (local [dot]yahoo [dot] com) and Google (local [dot]google [dot] com) are training users to local search through their local search specific UIs!?!

    (Aside: John’s spam filter is barfing on google[dot]com tonight)

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