Now I know most will argue that Yahoo! is now out of search, and in the traditional sense, they are. However, the time is ripe now to step out of your safe ‘traditional search’ shoes and to start thinking laterally. Yahoo! has made several major announcements, all related to local search, and much of it designed with the mobile user in mind.
Yahoo! have announced several apps that will make it easier for people to access information on the web. For example, they can find restaurants close to where they are then book a table by way of OpenTable, the restaurant booking service. What should interest business owners is the launch of Local Offers. As the name suggests, users can click through to see what offers are currently available in their area. Some of the Yahoo! partnerships for this service inlcude:
- Gilt City,
- Scoop St,
- Coupons.com, and
Users now can access their Yahoo! page where they can read the latest news, read what’s available at local business restaurants along with free offers from local businesses, all without having to enter a search term. Google have been working away at making local search (now Google Places) as user friendly and relevant as possible. In fact, they have made one or two interesting changes to local search themselves this week.
Will this change local search in any way? It’s a hard call, and it will depend on how well Yahoo! can sell the feature, and how well it draws he crowds.