This is a follow-up post (I am few months behind actually getting this post up) to an announcement we made in 2011 with our data harmonization deal with FourSquare. Since that time we have done the same thing with OpenTable and TripAdvisor and have launched an internal DealsAPI (soon to be public, check out our DEALS API page) which aggregates local deals.
So what is data harmonization. In a nutshell, it is matching two separate databases and matching the records that are the same. In the case of local, its about mapping business “A” in one database to the same business “A” in the second database. Google was one of the first real data matching pioneers when they were aggregating local content from many sources into their place pages (remember those good old days).
What is really more important is the output of doing this. The output of matching data boils down to a creating a better and more robust user experience by combining presenting information from multiple sources to help users make better decisions.
So in practice here is what the end product looks like.
Let’s take a look at Tipperary’s Pub on YellowPages.ca. As an aside; if you like thick crust pizza, this is one of the best places in Calgary.
Here is an image of the standard information you would expect; name, address, map. Notice right above the map on the right hand side is the first indication that this listing has additional content from TripAdvisor.
When you scroll down the page the user has a couple of sources of reviews to look at. Reviews that comes from YellowPages.ca users and reviews that come from TripAdvisor
To the right hand side on the page, the user also has the ability to look at tips and who has checked into this location courtesy of FourSquare.
The mobile experience is the same thing. If you want to check out the Tipperary Pub mobile page.
On this page you will notice the reviews from TripAdvisor, checkins/tips from FourSquare as well as the photos from FourSquare.
So what’s next.
We are working on bringing more of these content partnerships into place. Soon we will be opening up the ID’s of our partner venue’s through YellowAPI which will then make it super easy for developers to mash up content just like we did on YellowPages.ca. If you have local content that can be mapped to a specific location in Canada that you think might be useful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
This is a first comparison of before and after screenshots of the new expanded relationship between Yahoo! Canada and Yellow Pages Group using YellowAPI to power Yahoo!’s local search in Canada. Yahoo and YPG have had a pretty long standing relationship in Canada that started with a customized version of YellowPages.ca built for Yahoo! users back in 2007. You can see this in action at Yahoo.YellowPages.ca. Then Yellow Pages Group provided it basic listing data to Yahoo for Yahoo! local property which was located at Ca.Local.Yahoo.com (NOTE; this URL now redirects to yahoo.yellowpages.ca). Then last March – Yahoo! Canada integrated with YellowAPI to provide local results for its mobile users, you can see my blog post, [Screenshots] Yahoo Mobile Integrates with YellowAPI. And rolling out now is the new integration of YellowAPI powering the local search results in Yahoo! web search and with the links going to Yahoo’s customized version of YellowPages.ca.
Click on any of the images below to see the full screenshot.
I also encourage you to visit Yahoo.ca and enter a local search query such as dentists in toronto, restaurants in calgary, etc. and play with this integration yourself.
Dentists in Toronto (Before)
Dentists in Toronto (After)
Restaurants in Calgary (Before)
Restaurants in Calgary (After) – Note the reviews, this is coming from YellowAPI
Lawyers in Montreal (Before)
Lawyers in Montreal (After)
Sushi in Vancouver (Before)
Sushi in Vancouver (After)
So what do you think of this new integration?
I am a little late in posting this, however after I got back from Kelsey Conference in Denver, Colorado I ended up getting pretty sick that knocked me out for a few weeks. I am back on the mend.
Alot of people have been asking me for the a copy of the presentation. I have added the presentation to SlideShare, which you can flip through below. I also have an audio recording of the presentation and the Q&A with Matt Booth after the presentation about our API Strategy.
The event itself was probably one of the best Kelsey’s that I have attended. The quality of the speakers was quite good. Typically the DMS conference at Kelsey tends to be more focused on the Yellow Pages industry with a slant towards the print side of the business. This conference really had a very good blend of the traditional side of local along with a strong digital focus. The next Kelsey event in December, in San Francisco (Interactive Local Media West) will be even better as this is the key event for anybody in the local digital space to attend. I will be attending if you are interested in meeting.
The best presentation of the show was the SuperForum: The Social-Driven SMB: Part IV: Social Advertising Case Studies. This was a panel with Will Scott, President, Search Influence and Marty Weintraub, CEO, aimClear. The description of this panel is, “There is no shortage of platitudes about how SMBs are embracing social media. Here, we’ll share real case studies of how small-business advertisers have mastered the art of turning fans and friends into paying customers”. This panel was incredibly dynamic, Marty had an energy level that is contagious and the content of the presentation and the case studies they shared are absolutely incredible. If you really want to understand social marketing you need to check this out.
Below are 2 presentation links. First is the audio portion of the presentation and underneath it is the slideshare slides.
In the audio portion it starts off with Matt Booth giving some details on the state of the market and the challenge for publishers. You can download his slides here.
At the 2 min mark of the audio is when my presentation starts that corresponds to the SlideShare presetnation below.
[wpaudio url="http://www.darby.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/11_kelsey_dms_09.mp3" text="Listen to the Audio Version of YellowAPI Presentation at Kelsey DMS 2011 in Denver" dl="0"]
Here is the SlideShare version of my presentation at Kelsey DMS11.
How important is it for a local business to ensure that its basic listing data (name, phone number and address) is included in the YellowPages.ca database?
How important is it for a local business to ensure that its enhanced content (hours of operations, products, services, etc) are also included in the YellowPages.ca database?
Ultimately the above questions boil down to, “what’s in in for the SMB”. To help answer this, I have created the following eco-system slide that shows how/who the data from yellowpages.ca gets distributed across the consumer eco-system in Canada. NOTE: This is a representative sample of partnerships of companies that use portions or all of the yellowpages.ca database to offer a local connection to its audience.
For an SMB this boils down to two main reasons why this is important:
1) Time Saving – by having a central distribution of basic + enhanced listing data a SMB does not have to spend time to manage their data in multiple locations.
2) Consistency of Information – having the same information appear in a consistent manner across this eco-system allows a SMB to manage and control their message in a more manageable way.
If it is true that the users will continue to splinter into more consumer platforms it will become more and more critical for a centralized hub that can distribute that information.
In Canada, YellowPages.ca is a very important hub for the SMB market.
What do you think?
The last couple of months have been extremely busy on the business development front at Yellow Pages Group, hence my lack of posting. However, one integration that we have completed and launched is with Yahoo Mobile where we integrated YellowPages.ca data through our YellowAPI platform. This is a great win for Yahoo users and a great win for YPG advertisers.
Here is a walk through:
If you have not already, check out Yahoo on your iPhone. You can do this by typing in Yahoo.com or Yahoo.ca or going directly to m.Yahoo.com. You will land at the following home page:
If this is the first time you visit this page, Yahoo will ask you to use your location. If you select yes, it will use your current default location. Now you have two search options –
1) type in any local query, such as Dentists or
2) type in Dentists, Location if you want to search outside of your location.
Next you will be presented with the local results. Note: yahoo did a great job of detecting local intent queries, meaning, that in the above example for Dentists – the local results are at the top of the page, whereas if you searches for Britney Spears, you would not see any local results provided by YellowPages.ca.
At the search results level you have 3 options. First option is to click on the company name to get more details (see screenshot below), second option is to call the business directly or third option is to see more results.
If you select the first option you are automatically redirected to mobile.yp.ca (which is the mobile enhanced version of yellowpages.ca) where all the content, ad, video, pictures, maps, etc. are mobile optimized.
So what do you think of this integration?