If you're involved in local search, chances are you know about the Kelsey Group's Drilling Down conference. This year's activities included a couple of Ask.com appearances, a keynote speech from IAC's Peter Horan and a panel discussion featuring AskCity's Ryan...
Plus, between panels we hijacked a vendor’s display equipment
to do a quick AskCity demo and impressed the heck out of them. All in all,
a strong Ask.com showing this year.
KEYNOTE: PETER HORAN
Peter used his keynote speech to offer the big-picture take on local
search and how AskCity exemplifies that. A pair of highlights:
1. The first decade of local content was about brand; the next decade
will be about relevance. Live in San Jose? Look to the SJ
Mercury News site. Live in Los Angeles? Try the LA
Times. No more. Now, users are looking beyond brands for quality content–no
matter where it comes from.
2. Local content exists between two extremes:
– Broad subject matter relevant to a large audience (e.g. a trend piece
from The New York Times or local
– Narrow subject matter relevant to specific needs (e.g. local
bloggers, user reviews, "where can I find a dry cleaner open Sundays?"
Peter finished up with a quick presentation of AskCity, showing
how it leverages top online brands and deep content sources like Citysearch
and recent acquisition InsiderPages
to create relevant local search.
PANEL: CAN "HYPERLOCAL" WORK?
(Panel included Ryan Massie, Ask.com Director of Product Management,
Ryan stood out in his panel (among reps from Judy’s
Book, The Bakersfield Californian, Outside.In, and local data vendor Urban
Mapping) largely by being the only search-driven site on the panel.
And while there was no agreed-upon definition of what "Hyperlocal"
meant (Facilitator Peter Krasilovsky
dismissed the term with a "we all know what we’re talking about,
right?"), most of the panelists had the same measurement for success:
ad sales. Ryan countered that AskCity’s yardstick is quite different.
"When someone comes to that search box," He explained, "and
we give them exactly what we want–the right result, the right content,
take them to the right page–they’re going to come back. That’s success."
He explained. "Or to take action on AskCity–to book (a dinner reservation)
on OpenTable, and then to come back
again–that’s success too." He also mentioned that AskCity had no
specific plans to include ads, but didn’t rule it out.