The Yahoo-Nokia Deal: Some Details & Perspective

Yahoo and Nokia made their anticipated partnership announcement this morning in New York. The public elements of the deal include the following: Nokia will be the exclusive, global provider of Yahoo!’s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, branded as "powered by Ovi." Yahoo! will become the exclusive, global provider of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services branded as "Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!" Nokia and Yahoo! plan to work on ID federation between their services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user [...]


Yahoo: Search Local Menus For “BLT” Or “Hamachi”

Yahoo is introducing a useful new capability in search and Yahoo Local: the ability to search for specific meals or menu items and find them at local bars and restaurants. Yahoo says it's extracting unstructured data from restaurant menus online and making them searchable: By using Yahoo!’s search science to extract structured content – in this case, menu items – from a bunch of different unstructured web pages and matching them to specific restaurants, Yahoo! Search now returns results of restaurants near you that serve the dish you crave when you enter the name of that dish in our s [...]


Panel: “The Big Picture With The Big Local Players”

At the Where 2.0 event in San Jose yesterday afternoon, Danny Sullivan moderated a panel entitled "The Big Picture from the Big Players." In addition to Danny it featured Blaise Agüera y Arcas (Microsoft), Tom Wailes (Yahoo!), John Hanke (Google, Inc.), Dylan Swift (Yelp). The session sought to cover a lot of ground in a very tight 35 minutes. Danny initiated the compressed session by asking the time-honored question about local online marketing and small business: "Why aren't local businesses getting it?" Interestingly most of the panelists disagreed with that chara [...]


Yahoo To Broadly Integrate Twitter Across Properties

Earlier this evening Yahoo announced that it had deepened its relationship with Twitter and would be integrating Twitter's feeds and content across its network: The partnership integrates Twitter’s real-time social experiences with Yahoo!’s global network of nearly 600M people. Together with the recently announced Facebook integration, this relationship is a key part of advancing Yahoo!’s social strategy, transforming it into a highly customizable social experience that lets people unify their activity from their many social experiences across the Web. The integration also provides Y [...]


Yahoo Search: This Is The “Dark Time” But We’ll Be Back

Yesterday Yahoo hosted a press event called SearchSpeak that sought to dispel the "misconception," in the words of new Search Products SVP Shashi Seth, that Yahoo was no longer investing in search. As Seth took the stage to begin his presentation the power in the room went out. Not a very auspicious start to the day, it seemed symbolic of Yahoo's new difficulties and challenges in search. Attempting to generate enthusiasm, he pressed on without slides: despite the popular misconception, Yahoo is not out of search, echoing statements made by CEO Carol Bartz and others on past company earning [...]


Year In Review: Local Search & Maps

While analysts and practitioners have been prognosticating the imminent arrival of local search for the last several years, 2009 was finally the year that proved us right. A number of innovations and developments in mobile search, such as the widespread adoption of the iPhone, the release of Android, and a burgeoning number of location-based apps like Foursquare have certainly helped fuel local search's rise. But local has gained mind share among SEO's, marketers, business owners, and perhaps most importantly, searchers, in its own right as well. Let's take a loo [...]


Google Highlights Review Sentiments On Local Place Pages

Ratings and reviews have long been important to local search. Quantity used to be all that mattered - businesses with more reviews and ratings could rank higher than those without, even if the reviews were unfavorable. Google has joined Bing (and Yahoo to a lesser degree) with today's announcement that it's emphasizing the content and sentiment of reviews and ratings on its place pages. Here's a look at how Google spotlights review content on the Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant place page: Google is pulling reviews from a variety of sources, classifying them, and then providing a review [...]


Yahoo Showing Local Results On Non-Local Queries

Following in others' footsteps, Yahoo says it's now showing its local shortcut on certain queries that don't include a local modifier. When you search for the name of a business, or a local business category, Yahoo will show the local shortcut if it believes the search has local intent. For me, typing "pizza" into Yahoo's search box returns a map with local results. Google started doing the same thing this spring, and Bing also offers the same feature, so Yahoo is playing a bit of catch-up here. But Yahoo's results will, in some cases, be better because, when available, it uses the [...]


Yahoo Neighbors Adds Community Conversation To Local Search

After a trial run in four markets, Yahoo has just launched Neighbors nationwide. Neighbors is an interesting and potentially very strong addition to Yahoo Local's offerings. It's been around since November 2007, when it debuted in two California markets. More recently, it's been available in the San Francisco area, New York, Chicago, and Dallas. There's no formal announcement of the service yet, just a lone tweet posted earlier tonight from the Yahoo Real Estate account. But don't let that distract you from what could become a successful local effort, particularly in larger cities with a large [...]


What Micro-Hoo Might Mean For Local Search

As the dust begins to settle on the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal, we're finding that this week's announcement raised as many questions as it answered. The companies told Danny and Greg that the agreement covers "web, image, and video search." But what about the many search verticals that Yahoo and Microsoft are involved in? These are areas that, if not technically covered by the "web, image, and video search" label, are certainly highly connected to those products. And they're likely to feel the impact of Micro-Hoo's plans in some way, at some point. One of those verticals is the Local/Maps [...]


Yahoo Improves Local Search Results With More Business Info

Yahoo has announced a nice change to the way it shows local search results for businesses. The Local Shortcut, which has always indicated things like how many reviews/ratings a business has, is now expanded to include the actual text of those reviews and other information like photos and driving directions. All of this is available right inside the shortcut. As you see above, the new options appear as tabs below the business entry. Clicking any tab opens up a new layer of content so users can see the photos, read the reviews, or get driving directions with no extra clicks needed. [...]


Yahoo Improves EU Mapping, Does It Still See Maps As Strategic?

These days it's hard to remember that at one time Yahoo was the pioneer in dynamic mapping. It introduced enhanced local search features and capabilities into the map before Google, Microsoft and MapQuest. At a certain point, however, Yahoo opted out of the map feature wars that erupted between Google and Microsoft (StreetView, 3D, aerial, UGC). Since that time there have been a range of incremental improvements for Yahoo Maps. Accordingly the company said that it has given Yahoo Maps a "face lift" in the UK, and in France. There are a range of improvements discussed. While these ongoing im [...]


Yahoo Launches Placemaker, Adding “Whereness” To Unstructured Internet Data

Yesterday Yahoo spoke about taking search much more into the real world by turning "web pages" into "web objects." Today there were a couple of announcements at the Where 2.0 conference related to identifying unstructured data online and linking it according to places and locations -- in other words made geo-relevant. Tyler Bell of Yahoo gave the talk at Where about a "geo-enriched location-aware internet." Where is a very developer-focused event. Bell's talk was essentially about building the location "infrastructure" that will help support the vision articulated at the Yahoo Search event [...]


Yahoo-Newspaper Consortium Producing Some Mutual Gains

When the Yahoo-Newspaper consortium was announced in early 2007 both Yahoo and the newspaper industry were stronger and in better shape than they are today. (That's certainly true for newspapers.) Since that time Yahoo has suffered through the MicroHoo episode, gone through a couple reorgs, laid off a meaningful chunk of its workforce and gained a new CEO. The newspapers, for their part are mired in a well-publicized crisis, with ad revenues falling precipitously and major publishers making dramatic newsroom cuts, some declaring bankruptcy and even shutting down publications entirely. Now c [...]


Yahoo oneSearch Shortcut Adds Auto-Location, Search Assist & More Availability

The Yahoo Search Blog announced that Yahoo oneSearch shortcut has been improved and expanded. A new auto-locate feature will detect your location on some mobile devicesEnhanced Search Assist that incorporates the user’s recent search history was added andExpanded availability on Windows Mobile client including the latest latest Nokia and BlackBerry This service also has voice search features. To give it a try on your mobile device, go to http://m.yahoo.com/voice. [...]


Yelp Case Settled, But Bigger Issues Remain For Search & Reviews

A lawsuit over a Yelp.com review has been settled, but the larger issue of how business owners, customers, and review sites will co-exist online remains wide open. CNET is reporting that a San Francisco chiropractor and his disgruntled patient have settled their differences over a negative review that the patient posted on Yelp. Dr. Steven Biegel sued Christopher Norberg for defamation when Norberg questioned the chiropractor's billing practices in his Yelp review. Neither side is discussing the terms of their settlement, but Norberg has updated his review on Biegel's Yelp business listing [...]


Indian Action: Microsoft Chooses NAVTEQ For Maps, Yahoo Invests In 411 Provider

India is something of a parallel universe in terms of search and internet activity. It's a massive and incredibly dynamic market but distinct from the US and Europe in important ways. All the major engines are competing there and it's also often a testing ground for new products. For example Yahoo's "Glue Pages" were released and tried there before coming to the US. Now Yahoo has bought a 30 percent stake in a local information database and directory assistance provider in the market: Info Network Management Company, which runs the Call Ezee service. Seen as a way to secure local data and prov [...]


Google Maps: #1 In Features, Market Share Rising

As Google Maps continues to roll out new features that competing map services don't have, web users are rewarding it with big gains in traffic. A recent analyst report says Google is the number one maps site in terms of features and usability, and new Hitwise.com traffic data just shared this week with Search Engine Land shows Google Maps pulling much closer to category leader MapQuest. In a report issued this week, the boutique investment bank Cowen and Company says Google is the clear leader with the most user-friendly features among the four major mapping sites. "Google Maps has meaningf [...]


Yahoo Maps Now With Better Search Integration & New Features

Yahoo announced that they have added some features to Yahoo Maps. The main improvements include better local search integration, usability enhancements, and printable view changes. Here is the full list of features: Improved Local Search integration that utilizes the Search/Direct Display Index More user-friendly Driving Directions - a more user-friendly left rail that’s both wider and more legible (larger text), for easier reading of driving directions A redesigned Print Page The ability to minimize multiple driving direction instructions to save vertical space The ability to displa [...]


Search Engine Marketers Weigh In On Local Search Ranking Variables

SEO practitioner David Mihm conducted a survey of local search marketing professionals about which variables they believe most heavily influence local rankings and results. It's a great resource for those interested in local SEO and related issues. Rather than a simple list, it's an open discussion of the criteria and considerations that appear to boost or harm local rankings. As Mihm describes the project: I invited 20 experts active in the Local Search Marketing community to participate in this study, with the goal of identifying the factors that would be most helpful for ranking well in [...]


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