Looking for cheap gas? Sure, the price has been falling, but drivers are still looking to save. Enter Yahoo, which has rolled out a new shortcut that maps gas stations and gas prices directly within in the search results page.
Just use the words “gas prices” or “cheap gas” followed by a ZIP code or city name, and you’ll get back a map with prices mapped. I found that using only the word “gas” with a ZIP or city name also worked. The screenshot above shows how it looked for a search on gas prices 92663.How are things at other search engines? When I looked last June, Google was listing local stations in a map but without prices. That’s still the case:
It still feels like Google is missing an opportunity here. The situation is similar with Microsoft Live Search and seems more a wasted opportunity, since MSN Autos has a gas price mapping service.
Ask has a special shortcut that links to gas price services GasBuddy and MotorTrends:
That’s better than what Google and Live Search do but still far behind Yahoo’s new feature.
Yahoo’s prices come from GasBuddy.com. My past article, Looking For Stations With Cheap Gas Prices? Search Tools To The Rescue!, goes into detail about that service and several others like it.
Annoyingly, if you click on the map at Yahoo, you can’t zoom in on what’s shown. It’s not interactive at all. And if you click on the “Gas Price” link at the top or the “more gas prices” link at the bottom of prices listed, you’ll get shunted over to one of GasBuddy’s many regional sites. In my 92663 example, that sends me to orangecountygasprices.com, where my ZIP code entry isn’t passed along. Hopefully, Yahoo will fix this, so you don’t start from scratch if you try to look for more.
I’d also like to see Yahoo, Google and Live Search send a big signal to GasBuddy that it’s just not on for them to be operating so many different “independent” sites, each clearly designed to target a regional search for gas prices. If these were all within the same gasbuddy.com domain, they wouldn’t “crowd” out other listings. But as they are all on separate domains, they push other sites aside.
For example, in a search on Google for gas prices, I get a Gas Buddy site in these positions:
- 1) gasbuddy.com
- 2) gasbuddy.com
- 3) losangelesgasprices.com
- 10) twincitiesgasprices.com
- 12) atlantagasprices.com
- 14) newyorkgasprices.com
Surely one site that Gas Buddy owns and operate per results page should be enough, shouldn’t it?