Live Blogging Yahoo SMX Local-Mobile Keynote

I live blogged the Yahoo keynote, so forgive the disjointed notes.

Frazier Miller: Rise of the Local Web, A Perfect Storm.

Miller gave an engaging keynote that covered both online and mobile, user demand and advertising. Miller defined local in terms of four Yahoo properties: Search, Yahoo Local, Yahoo Yellow Pages, and Upcoming.

Interestingly, Miller didn’t include Yahoo’s verticals (real estate, autos, maps, etc.). Miller said that over 100 million uniques visit Yahoo with some sort of local intent (search and browse). When discussing “browse” behavior, he did reference the vertical properties.

Miller jokes that he “shorted” Google stock so he doesn’t have a corner on the predictions market.

Perfect Storm for the Rise of the Local Web:

Miller defines the “Local Web” as any online content that is geotagged or that is tied to the “real world.”

Consumers are using the “Local Web” but advertisers are just really starting to notice the consumer behavior.

Flickr geotagging launched in August, 2006, and today there are more than 75 million geotagged photos online. He attributes it to a desire to “contextualize” their online experiences.

Miller lauds Craigslist, saying that he set a standard by focusing on utility and establishing other principles. He says that success in one market (a la Craigslist) is critical before rolling out nationally. Craigslist relied upon users before Web 2.0. He also praised Yelp for its success.

Miller discussed Yahoo Answers, which wasn’t intended as a “local” site. He said local was added to address a user need that arose organically.

Miller talked about some of the local features on Facebook as well.

Miller showed comScore data that indicated “niche” sites (e.g., Yelp) are taking some “local search” share from general search engines.

Miller then turned to Yahoo search to discuss trends. “Users are doing more and more local search. Users are also more sophisticated: more words in the search box, more modifiers.” He discussed Search Monkey in the context of local.

Miller says that in the last 12 months, there has been 76% Y/Y growth for local search queries (per comScore). The number of queries is growing (average 12 per month).

Miller discussed opportunities:

–Government sites and services –Events (no “category killer” yet, according to Miller) –The “holy grail” for shopping is local product search (offline inventory) –He also discussed the “convergence” of social networking in local and mentioned Yahoo “Neighbors” in the context of local social networks and “hyper-local.”


Miller then moved from users to advertisers.

Roughly 9%-10% of advertising spend is now online.

Miller covered the bases in terms of internet targeting and ROI capabilities and metrics. He discussed Yahoo’s historical targeting methods and strategies in terms of increasing sophistication.

Geotargeting is applied across online ad units: search, display, sponsorships. Touts the ability to see success by geography.

He then discussed “bridging the ROBO chasm” and cites the datapoint that $500 billion in offline sales were influenced by the internet.

He then exposed growth in geotargeted advertising on Yahoo: 200% increase on geotargeted ads on the Yahoo network. Here are the top advertising categories on Yahoo by geotargeted ad spend:

1. Automotive 2. Home & Garden 3. Professional services 4. Financial services 5. Health & Beauty 6. Education 7. Real Estate 8. Other 9. Entertainment

He acknowledges that zip-level targeting is very hard to do and reporting on that level isn’t truly available.


Miller: “The iPhone is not the revolutionary device the market thinks it is. But it’s representative of several trends:

1. Moore’s law is operating in mobile; more powerful devices being produced at cheaper cost. 2. Data plans are being adopted to drive consumer usage of the mobile internet. 3. And there are now more user-friendly applications and services being developed for mobile.

Power of the local web can now be accessed in mobile. Some of that local web activity will happen on mobile devices.”

What to expect next in mobile

Android, iPhone, and Yahoo Blueprint are open systems (to varying degrees). Blueprint is “write once and run anywhere.” Yahoo has a potential reach of more than 600 million users through carrier relationships.

Lastly, he touts the coming of real-time inventory information to mobile devices.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Conferences


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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