August 17, 2005 8:37 AM PDT
Yahoo expands local features
With its latest offerings, Yahoo Local is adding features such as user recommendations and the ability to search for restaurants, movies and events within a neighborhood, rather than having to cull through listings for an entire city.
Users may access their My Yahoo accounts to read updated user recommendations for local restaurants and events, but also can receive the updates via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.
"The future of local search lies not only in offering highly comprehensive and relevant local search results, but in combining those results with community-generated content," Paul Levine, Yahoo Local general manager, said in a statement.
The service also includes real-time updates on local event information and, based on a person's search history, will offer recommendations relevant to local community listings.
Competitors, meanwhile, have been hard at work developing their own local search services.
Earlier this year, Google launched features such as editorial reviews of local businesses that included their hours of operation and Wi-Fi accessibility. AOL touted the capability to buy movie tickets and make dinner reservations at local restaurants, and it plans to offer a local search tool accessible via mobile phone later this year.
Delving deep into the local search scene has not always been lucrative. The battle for local search users harks back to the late 1990s and the fight between Citysearch and the former MSN Sidewalk from Microsoft. MSN sold its Sidewalk search service to competitor Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch in 1999, after finding it difficult to generate revenue from local searches for restaurants and events.