Forbes covers AT&T’s forthcoming local recommendations site Buzz.com. It aims to be a place where people can get and share recommendations about local businesses. Despite my headline and that of the Forbes article it’s not going to be a reviews and social networking site like Yelp. Rather it may be more analogous to AlikeList or Q&A efforts such as Aardvark (or Yahoo Answers), in some ways.
Here’s how the Forbes article says it would work potentially:
A user looking for a reliable moving company in Manhattan could simply poll his or her friends on the site. But since a more focused search will likely yield more useful recommendations, buzz.com will also be able to suggest experts for that particular topic based on user “favorites” and comments. On a mobile device buzz.com could further narrow the field based on a person’s location, using opt-in global positioning system data.
As Google’s own content (Map + 7) has come to dominate page one SERPs in local — Google says that 1 out of 13 SERPs shows a map — local SEO has become more difficult for third party publishers such as directory and yellow pages sites. They’re partly looking for alternative ways to drive low-cost, high quality traffic to their advertisers. Clearly, owning more distribution (as they did offline) is one important method.
Buzz.com also reflects how the Internet is evolving and how social media are figuring more prominently in almost everything being done. Buzz.com is a great URL; now will AT&T give us a great site?
I also wrote about the site in some addition detail on my personal blog Screenwerk.