AOL Searches Go Local

Google has it, Yahoo has it, Ask Jeeves has it, and
now AOL has local search too.

AOL yesterday launched AOL Local Search, which aggregates local content from AOL CityGuide, Yellow Pages, MapQuest and Moviefone.

Beyond just address information, AOL’s CityGuide feature
adds editorial reviews for local hot spots. The Moviefone feature
allows local searchers to find movie show times from the three closest locations.

AOL Local Search includes a “Hot Searches” button that shows
the most frequently searched for entertainment venues and
restaurants. AOL Local Search plans on implementing a local
news integration feature with the engine at some point
“soon”.

Google launched its local search in March 2004. Yahoo and AskJeeves launched
their local offerings in August.


“Local search is an important and growing category of
search services given that 20 percent of all online
look-ups are for something nearby — local businesses and
resources, movies, events, restaurants, products, retail
stores and more,” Jim Riesenbach, senior vice president of
AOL search and directional media, said in a statement.

“Our new Local Search is in line with AOL’s commitment to
deliver enhanced products based on the highest-quality
content to help users find information that’s important to
them.”

In a report issued earlier in the week, JupiterResearch said 79 percent of 2004 paid search spending in the United States is currently dominated by only four categories: financial services, media and entertainment
and travel.


“Broad-based search engines are extremely good at
navigating vast amounts of information, but extremely poor
at helping a consumer make a purchase decision,” said
JupiterResearch analyst Niki Scevak, in a statement. “This
creates a large opportunity to enhance the consumer
experience with vertical search.”

Jupiter Research and internetnews.com are owned by Jupitermedia.

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