Posts Tagged ‘local’

Twitter Search for Hyper-Local Social Media Marketing

October 24th, 2010

I just posted a guest blog post over at the GeekEstateBlog about how to leverage advanced Twitter search for hyper-local social media marketing.  I was admittedly a little late to the game in truly ‘getting’ the full power of Twitter.  I’m now a believer.

Yahoo!’s Conflicting Stance On The Local Space

July 16th, 2010

Today, Yahoo! announced a local ad partnership with Gannett.  Without knowing the details of the partnership, it looks like Gannett and Yahoo! can cross-sell each others’ ad inventory, and Gannett will use Yahoo!’s APT ad technology to target and serve ads.  From ZDNet “Yahoo! Gets More Local, Cuts Deal With Gannett, as well as the Yahoo! press release:

Local advertising continues to be an important area of focus for us, and Yahoo! is committed to helping local businesses reach high quality target audiences,” said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president of Yahoo Americas. “This partnership significantly expands our local offering and gives advertisers the technology and scale they need to reach online consumers.”

But does this really signal Yahoo!’s commitment to the local space?  I personally don’t think so, particularly when you compare Yahoo!’s investments (or lack thereof) in its local properties with other major players in local.  When I started working at Yahoo! in 2004, Yahoo! Local was the hot property and the top local destination online.  It was hard to walk by a hallway conversation without hearing the word ‘local’.  But relative to Google, Yahoo! invested far less in their maps product, which I believe hurt their top spot in local search, which they ultimately ceded to Google.  While Yahoo! Local still sees a ton of traffic, new entrants like Yelp also chipped away at their lead.  Ultimately Yahoo! Local was outgunned by competitors (mostly Google) willing to invest more (both manpower and acquisitions, ie: Google’s offer to buy Yelp) and not run these hugely strategic properties as profit-centers, but rather as means for driving other behaviors (search).

Using more recent examples, Yahoo! has either sold, or sold out, of several major properties that I consider to be local in nature.  This year they sold Hotjobs to Monster, outsourced Y! Personals to Match.com, and outsourced Y! Real Estate’s property listings to Zillow.  I would argue that it simply doesn’t get any more local than real estate, so does selling out the channel make sense if in fact “local advertising continues to be an important area for [Yahoo!]“?  Is this a shift away from O&O sites to a partnership ‘strategy’ (I use the term loosely), or more of Yahoo! not knowing what they are?

Disclaimers: Thanks to a former colleague (if you read this you know who you are) for planting the thought. I worked on Y! Real Estate for 4 years so am a likely biased against the Zillow deal.  It sucks to see your baby sold off (but then again it sucks to see it not get any attention either).