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Old 24th February 2005, 10:08 AM   #1
thejenn
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Default New Article - AOL Expands Search Offering with Local Search Tool

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/003523.html

Some Snippets:

"Following up on a recent revamping of the search interface, AOL announced this morning that they have also added a new local search service to their stable of search engine tools."

"The ultimate winner in the localized search war is not going to be the site that can deliver the most business listings, but rather the site that can offer the most localized content to support those listings."

--

What are you looking for in a local search experience? We know that local search has to move far beyond the idea of an online yellow pages, or it simply isn't going to work.

But are we ultimately sending search engines in the direction of being regional content portals? Didn't we have those once? Sites like CityGuide and CitySearch seemed to do a fairly decent job of filling the local search void. Then they fell out of favor...now the major engines are taking their turn at trying to fill the gap.

Who is doing the best job? Does AOL have a chance to compete in this arena?

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Old 24th February 2005, 11:13 AM   #2
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How do you keep up with this stuff so quickly?

Just had a quick peek. As a user, it's pretty slick. You can find info you're looking for pretty easily. It's interesting to see the different types of advertising possibilities as well.

Paul

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Old 25th February 2005, 08:49 AM   #3
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LOL...I keep up with it because it's my job. It's called lots of Google Alerts, lots of RSS feeds and lots of contact with PR firms.

Anyway, I'm kind of excited to see AOL getting into the mix with local search. Search engine wise, they still use Google's index, so they don't have a lot new to offer there...but with AOL being a major portal site, and thus already controlling a decent portion of the market, it's nice to see them putting focus on developing localized search content. I like the addition of things like the dinner reservation feature...one of the things that I actually had on my list of qualifications that a local search would need...and *poof* they have it.

That said, I don't know how much I'll use it myself...Despite playing with some of the local search tools, I really haven't made much use of them. I still just head to Google and craft a search query that will find me what I'm looking for. Worst case scenario I head to Yahoo!'s yellow page listings and find it there.

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