August 2, 2004 9:00 PM PDT

Yahoo, Ask Jeeves out to lure locals

Yahoo and Ask Jeeves on Tuesday will release new local-search products intended to appeal to audiences hunting for regional information and further tap the estimated $100 billion U.S. local advertising market.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo will unveil Yahoo Local, a beta site that cinches data from yellow pages, regional maps and editorial reviews of local businesses into one searchable resource for visitors. Sidelining its former reliance on CitySearch for similar services, Yahoo is now building its own comprehensive local guides to address rising demand for neighborhood information on the Web. Moreover, Yahoo aims to outdo its archrival--search-market leader Google, which launched Google Local in March--with its own dominance in regional resources for Web surfers.

Local search is a "huge strategic area for us," said Paul Levine, general manager of Yahoo's local product, adding that the company has worked on Yahoo Local for the past six months.

In a related announcement, Emeryville, Calif.-based Ask Jeeves has licensed local-business data from CitySearch in a multiyear deal designed to improve its regional search services. The company plans to begin delivering locally targeted search results as a result of the deal in the coming month.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Jim Lanzone, Ask Jeeves' senior vice president of search products, said the two companies would share revenue from advertising where CitySearch's content is used, under terms of the multiyear deal, which has some exclusivity.

Industry analysts and Internet executives have handicapped local search as one of the key drivers of online marketing and the booming search business. As more people tap search engines to find local businesses, movie theaters and restaurants, businesses will need to advertise in those results, they argue. Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and others have been drawing up plans to fuel growth.

As much as 25 percent of Web surfers' queries are already geared toward locally relevant listings, according to market researcher Kelsey Group. Roughly 10 percent of Ask Jeeves' Web searchers apply a location such as "New York" or "San Francisco" to their search terms, according to Lanzone. Yahoo's Levine sees locales attached to about 5 percent of search queries.

Still, local-search advertising revenue is only a fraction of the overall market. Sales are expected to reach $502 million in 2004, up from $408 million last year, according to market researcher Jupiter Research. By 2008, sales are expected to hit $824 million.

A majority of marketers use paid search to advertise nationally, according to Jupiter, while only 5 percent of online marketers use commercial search listings to reach consumers regionally.

Ask Jeeves on Monday also added a new feature to its results for queries on cities, called a city guide unit, which displays local information, such as weather, for metropolitan areas. The company also introduced a service that lets people call up local maps and driving directions. Ask Jeeves' upcoming service will complement its "Smart Search" feature by letting people retrieve a box of information on locally relevant search queries, such as "Manhattan Thai restaurants" that would include addresses for businesses and user reviews or ratings.

Yahoo Local, which is in beta form as of Tuesday, could one day replace Yahoo's Get Local, an umbrella site for Yahoo's maps, Yellow Pages and city guide sites that attracts about 20 million visitors a month and is the top rated local service online, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. But Levine said Yahoo wants to see how people respond to the service first. Yahoo's CitySearch relationship is still intact, but the company is not using its local data to power Yahoo Local.

Yahoo Local makes it easy for people to search for a regional business by typing in a city or address and the kind of business. For a restaurant, for example, the service lists the address, contact information, reservation policy, dress code, an editorial review and rating list, as well as mapping tools. A surfer can also use the map that's displayed to look for parking in the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant.

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Cedar Deck sealed with Acuron induro wood sealer
My cedar deck was sealed by Superior Surface Solutions in Farmington Hills, MI. The sales person said my 6 year old cedar deck would be restored to new wood condition and guaranteed for 10 years. The deck was powerwashed and sealed with the product ACURON:INDURO WOOD.on June 16, 2005. When I received the Warranty it was for Dry Rot and Warping which I understand Cedar does not dry rot or warp because of all the oil in the wood. Two weeks ago I called Superior Surface because my deck is now white. Superior said they would be out again because all it needed was to be powerwashed again. I called a company in Canada who manufactures cedar planks and told them what was happening. The gentleman said it sounds like they did not let the wood dry for 48 hours before applying the sealer. I gave this information to Superior and he said all wood will dry rot and warp and their product Aquron, Induro Wood has to be applied while wet. When I asked him why they put the sealer, Acuron, on a cedar deck he changed the subject and said they would be out to powerwash the deck again. I also mentioned they did not protect my screens and windows when they powerwashed the 1st time and fibers were all over the screens and windows He said he would make sure the would protect the windows and screens when they powerwashed this time, but that didn't happen, I have cedar fibers over everything even my deck furniture and barbque because nothing was covered.
I would like you to refer me to someone who does Cedar Decks and can come to my house and tell me what I have to do the get my deck back in good condition. I live in Waterford.
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Hello Ms. Kalin
I worked for Superior Surface Solutions during that time frame.

I will tell you this, yes the Aquron Endura-Wood sealant is what's classified as a Hydro-Static sealant, it must be applied wet. The only time you let a deck dry for 48 hours is if the sealant is a top coat(like Thompsons for example) or a stain.

However I did not work on your deck but I did many others. This problem you are having is because one of the inexperienced people had done the job.

If you happen to ever check this again please e-mail me at aririck80@yahoo.com.

I can help you with your deck if you're still having problems without covering them up.

I no longer work for S3 as I wasn't paid for several jobs and it would appear that the CEO of the company Linda Daichent did infact abandon her obligation to her customers and would not back a warranty, upon finding this out along with the fact I was informed that for 1.5 months of work I would not be receiving compensation, I quit.

I do apologize that your deck was probably ruined by S3, I however can help you out if you still need it. I'm not saying I will do anything for free, however I can gladly say I was aside from my partner, I was the only one that actually knew how to deal with this product and how to properly install it. I however can work with you and correct this, also if you have ever planned on complaing about this company, I'm more than happy to speak on your behalf of the shady going ons within S3.
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