Posted January 5, 2007 2:06 pm by with 0 comments

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Maintaining a national online local database is a daunting task. Errors are very common in local search results. In an effort to clean up their data, Yahoo is promoting user editing of local business listings.

From the Yahoo Local Blog:

It’s time to announce a new feature on Yahoo! Local which empowers you to add your favorite new local business, alert others when an old favorite has closed, and add or change business info quickly. Now you can truly be our eyes and ears in your community!

When a new business is submitted, they promise to have it live within 24 hours. With business listings that are already live, they are testing requested changes by giving future users a pop up and asking them if the requested changes are correct.

Although this has been announced on their blog, I am not sure how successful this will be. I cannot find this quick and easy business add form anywhere on the YLocal site. If I do a search for Xuru in Dallas (which is not a local biz) it returns a link asking me to add the business but the link leads to an advertising page.

The “edit this listing” link is on every live profile, but it’s really no different than what was already there. Most users will not understand they are allowed to make corrections to listings.

Overall, this is a great idea. I think Yahoo is already the front runner in the local search space. If they put the proper onsite marketing and user education behind this concept, it can take off and make YLocal that much better.

P.S. There is a golden opportunity with these local databases. It is not to hard to imagine ways to use fake listings to drive traffic and links. I’ll cover that interesting topic here soon.