Yahoo! Local is a local business directory that helps users find services in their community. The site works like many other business listing directories, with a search that lets the user add a business type, name or keyword as well as a location. The user can put in a specific address, city and state or zip code to begin. The homepage automatically detects the user’s local area and shows businesses and attractions from various categories along with tag clouds and user reviews. Users can read and write reviews to go with business listings. Categories are included so users can explore types of businesses. Categories include education, automotive, computers, legal, government, real estate, recreation, professional services and many others. The neighborhood area lets users respond to and vote on questions posted by others.
Yahoo! Local has been a popular choice for internet users for many years. The site introduced a new layout in 2007 that featured new City Guide pages with events, listings and useful local information. The site is Yahoo’s version of the standard local business directory. Many users love the combination of reviews, ratings, information and community discussions (which were added in the neighborhood beta launch). Yahoo! Local current draws in many visitors searching for community-based information.
Yahoo! Local does pretty much the same thing that every other local business directory does. Users can stop by, search for businesses and post reviews based on their personal experiences. This design works well and gives users an honest, reliable resource to help them decide who should get their business. Yahoo! Local has made its service even more appealing with the addition of the neighborhood feature, which lets users post comments and inquiries to others in their community.
Anyone who is already a fan of Yahoo will recognize the gist of the Yahoo! Local layout. The familiar Yahoo logo appears in dark purple over a header with simple tabs that help the user find each area on the site. The layout is neat and orderly, despite the significant amount of information displayed on each page. Some areas also include advertisements for other Yahoo products which manage to stay out of the user’s way.
Visitors can search Yahoo! Local without an account. Those who do not have a Yahoo account but wish to take advantage of all features can click the “Register” link in the upper, left hand corner of the homepage. The form on the following page asks for a first and last name, gender, date of birth, country, language, postal code, desired Yahoo ID (which will be the user’s Yahoo email address as well), password, optional alternate email and two security questions and answers. After submitting the form, the user is advised that a confirmation message will arrive shortly and must be accessed to complete registration.
Advertising is the main source of earning for Yahoo Local. The website includes a separate feature ‘Advertise With Us’, which explicitly calls its users for placing their adverts on the website. Citing the enormous popularity of Yahoo services on the web, advertising generate massive revenues for the website. However, all the services of Yahoo Local are free for its users, and the website doesn’t seem to charge for its services in foreseeable future.
Yahoo! Local is ideal for anyone who needs to find information or reviews for local businesses. The site is also a great place to ask community-specific questions or to spark conversations among neighbors. The interface is easy to master and the user can access a wealth of information about businesses and their community. Yahoo! Local offers users a good combination of practical information, interesting discussions and ways to get more familiar with their home community.