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The Local Search Game is On: Yahoo Partners With Yelp to Enhance Search Results

Yahoo updated its search engine earlier this year to include essential facts about any business in the US right on its results page. Taking things a step further, Yahoo’s senior director of product management, Anand Chandrasekaran, announced yesterday that they have partnered with Yelp “bringing more business listings, more photos, and more reviews” to the table.

yahoo-search

Recode’s Kara Swisher reports that “this is part of an effort by CEO Marissa Mayer to boost search revenue and improve experience, as the Silicon Valley Internet giant looks to increase its market share against the relentless juggernaut of Google.”

What does this mean for your SMB clients?

To us, one thing is clear: local search is becoming more and more important. To give you an idea of how big its scope is, here’s a list of services that fall under “local search”:

  1. Apple’s Siri

  2. Google Now

  3. Google maps

  4. Facebook Graph Search

  5. Foursquare recommendations

  6. Yahoo’s local search results

  7. Yahoo maps

  8. GPS devices (you can search for points of interest around and navigate to them)

And that’s just scratching the surface. An increasing number of services are becoming more “context aware,” i.e. they provide users with information tailored to their devices, locations and interests.

Helping SMBs with local search

The first, and possibly biggest, step for local businesses to get featured in local search is to get their presence sorted out. They need to have mobile-friendly websites with key information prominently featured on the homepage, and they need to have consistent listings on all major directories and review sites.

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