ClickZ’s Chris Sherman breaks the launch of Yahoo’s Local search service moving out of Beta and being promoted to the main Yahoo page in his article entitled Yahoo Local Officially Launches.
Chris covers Yahoo’s company line and adds his own take on the value of a few new Local features… but most importantly, makes a statement about Yahoo’s time-to-market vs. Google’s (a meme worth watching).
What’s missed however, is that while Yahoo Local is now on the main Yahoo page, it isn’t integrated into the main Yahoo search process. Users must specify their intent by selecting the Yahoo Local tab, where they may then conduct their local search. (See update below.)
This is the same disappointing short-cut that A9, Clusty, and others are taking while the technology to automatically discern user intent matures in the labs. While it’s better than going without, it falls short of the optimal search experience.
I’ll have more on this meme in the next few days…
In fact, Yahoo Local is drafting off the main search box (as it ought to be)… but only if you type in a city name in your search (vs. a zip code). For example, “pizza san jose ca” works, whereas “pizza 95126” does not. Hopefully this is a bug. I’ll post an additional update when more is known.