Macro Search Engines Go Micro
Search-engine giants Google and Yahoo both announced on Tuesday their latest offerings to make a more personal on-line experience.
Yahoo announced the launch of a service they call Local Offers which is designed as an aggregating site that groups coupons, special offerings, and discounts for local retailers and restaurants.
Several smaller deal providers participating in Local Offers include Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt City, BloomSpot, BuyWithMe, DealOn, Zozi, CrowdSavings, Lifebooker, FreshGuide, Scoop St, Goldstar, HomeRun, Tippr, Coupons.com, and Valpak with more to come.
“Yahoo! is taking the complexity out of finding the great local deals …” said Matt Idema, Vice-President of Yahoo Local.
Hot on the heels of Yahoo’s announcement, Google announced the start-up of their new service, Hotspot. Hotspot is a new feature for Google Places which lists local businesses based upon recommendations from the consumer as well as friends and other Google users.
Hotspot will track consumers’ reviews for businesses and its recommendation engine learns the consumer’s preferences and suggests other things that are similar. As friends add recommendations, the engine fine-tunes the searches for the individual and the group.
“With Hotspot, we’re making local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant, and trustworthy …” said Lior Ron, product manager.
The service has a lot of work ahead to make it more user-friendly and an easier communal experience, though it still has the power and wide range of data that comes with being integrated into the Google machine.
Local Offers is a less social experience but is easier to use in its simplicity. Both offerings continue to show the importance of innovating the indexing of information with their long reach.