Small and Local Businesses, Meet your Neighbors – on Yahoo Local

10 09 2009

Search and social marketing continue to cross paths and merge together as the internet industry expands and evolves to fit our needs.  Yahoo Neighbors is a conversation based tool that has the potential to do great things for small and local businesses by opening up a Q & A within the local business space.  While us search engine marketers have known about the influence of local search (such as Yahoo Local) and Q & A sites, like Yahoo Answers for a long time; Yahoo Neighbors is essentially a hybrid of the two concepts and conveniently brings the power of locality to smaller cities that Yahoo Answers lacks, in addition to adding a social element to local search that wasn’t there before.

Yahoo Neighbors

In most scenarios, Yahoo Neighbors will help local businesses in cities across the US to gain traction in local search results and potentially evolve into a default best practice for all small and local businesses.

  • Designed by search engine forward thinking minds, so naturally SEO credibility will come into play.
  • Helps to promote website visibility through conversation, Q & A and quasi-reviews.
  • Helps build and establish website and business presence and authority in the market.
  • Highly useful for reputation monitoring and management.
  • Has the potential to translate well to Social Media with the addition of sharing functionalities.

Yahoo Neighbors is in essence a community based Q & A, coupled with SEO value (Yahoo properties are designed by SEO-inclined folks and Yahoo Answers already ranks well in SERPs) and RSS attributes.  Not only could this tool become a large source of referral traffic for local businesses, but companies can also use it as a Reputation Management tool by opting into RSS feeds for specific categories and even more granularly down to a single topic.  Get social media sharing functionalities in place, and Yahoo might really have something.  The only catch?  Yahoo Neighbors is still in beta format, and although it has officially launched and is available nationwide, most cities have yet to establish good content and user participation.  Until the Yahoo Neighbor wave gains momentum with local searchers, smaller cities will have to wait a little longer to see Neighbors in action and to decide how to grab value from its offerings.

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