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View Poll Results: Who will be the 1st Classifieds Search Engine? (Private Poll)
Google 5 45.45%
Yahoo! Search 2 18.18%
MSN Search 0 0%
ASK Jeeves 0 0%
Other 4 36.36%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-22-2005   #1
Nacho
 
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Who will be the 1st Classifieds Search Engine?

In the IAB report there is a graph on page 11 for "Internet Ad Revenues by Advertising Format" as a "% of 2004 Full-Year Revenues". There it shows that 40% comes from Search, while 18% comes from Classifieds among others. From real estate to just about anything that sells on eBay, this category is HOT and I'm sure the search engines could grow their revenues big time if they take a chunk at this segment.

Wouldn't it be relatively easy (with their current infrastructures) for the search engines to develop a Classifieds Search Engine so that the many hidden listings currently nonSEOed surfaces from the invisible web? I would imagine for Google, this would be a step similar to when they first developed Froogle, for example. Anyway... maybe the question should be...

Who will win the race to be have 1st Classifieds Search Engine? I've added a simple poll for that, but I would be mostly interested to hear WHY you think so? HOW will it happen? WHAT are your expectations? HOW MUCH will this affect the industry? And any other opinions about this. Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2005   #2
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are you talking about craigslist.org with a search box?
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Old 10-23-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLCC
are you talking about craigslist.org with a search box?
More likely talking about Oodle.com bought by one of the big companies
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Old 10-23-2005   #4
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Yes, like craigslist.org! However, there are many many more. For example, it the San Diego area:

classifieds2.signonsandiego.com
sandiego.backpage.com/gyrobase/classifieds/index
sandiego.com/classifieds/
sddt.com/Classifieds/
sandiego.merchantamerica.com/index.php?x=classified

and the list could go on and on....

The purpose of a search engine would be to index all of those listings and offer them via the result of a seach query. Then combine it with other features, such as Maps and Shopping listings.

Wikipedia defines Classified advertising as:
Quote:
"Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers and other periodicals. Classified advertising is usually textually based and can consist of as little as the type of item being sold, (i.e., "Clothing") and a telephone number to call for more information ("call 555-7777"). It can also have much more detail, such as name to contact, address to contact or visit, a detailed description of the product or products ("pants and sweaters, size 10" as opposed to "clothing", "red 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix" as opposed to "automobile"). There are generally no pictures or other graphics within the advertisement, although sometimes a logo may be used. Classified advertising is called such because it is generally grouped within the publication under headings classifying the product or service being offered (headings such as Accounting, Automobiles, Clothing, Farm Produce, For Sale, For Rent, etc.) and is grouped entirely in a distinct section of the periodical, which makes it distinct from display advertising, which often contains graphics or other art work and which is more typically distributed throughout a publication adjacent to editorial content. Business opportunities used classifieds to sell their services, usually employing 1-800 numbers."
Since people seem to be spending $1.7 billion on this... why not take benefit of this market if you're a search engine?
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Old 10-23-2005   #5
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Background

The classifieds industry consists of: Autos, jobs, real estate, dating, other*

For a long time, print classifieds has been referred to as the 'rivers of gold' - an incredible proportion of print revenue comes from their classifieds. With the advent of online sites like craigslist, more and more of that river has being siphoned off online.

For example, in the jobs industry, the primal danger was from upstart dot.coms like Monster, which resulted in print corps like Knight-Ridder & Tribune establishing CareerBuilder, a carbon copy of Monster. Today's danger comes from innovators (like network-referring LinkedIn) and aggregators (eg.SimplyHired & Indeed).

Who will win the race to be have 1st Classifieds Search Engine?
WHY do you think so? And HOW will it happen?

Yahoo!

Yahoo is already well-established with their HotJobs! site. Although a distant 3rd to CareerBuilder and Monster, HotJobs! is notable in that it is a) an aggregator and b) leverages Yahoo's brand and abilities, eg. targeting Yahoo registered users by demographic which in theory allows HotJobs to place more qualified applicants per job and therefore increase client ROI.

Jobs is also the largest of the big 3 traditional classifieds, so Y! have made an ideal initial foray into online classifieds. (Note:anyone with a classifieds-related website will have seen the YahooSeeker crawler periodically hammering their site looking for job-related classifieds).

Furthermore, Yahoo bought Kelkoo in 2004, Europe's leading shopping search engine. With Kelkoo's 11 million users across 10 different countries (Note that Kelkoo is powering MSN/Ask Jeeves in the UK and parts of Europe) Yahoo is ideally-placed for a multi-lingual global powerplay by extending their HotJobs/kelkoo services to all classifieds. Just another reminder that Y! isn't placing all its eggs into one revenue basket!

WHAT are your expectations?

Being the first doesn't mean you become the leader. While Y! seems the best-placed SE, Google/Microsoft have enormous resources to bear. Stating the obvious, Google has a penchant for simple yet effective solutions, and they can hardly ignore the classifieds arena. Also, nothing stops a Google or MSN from making acquisitions and becoming the no.1 player in a classified industry. However, even if Yahoo produces a meta-classifieds site capable of traversing and extracting from the 'invisible web', this doesn't necessarily translate into additional value to the user or seller. What is the difference between reaching 100 applicants via CareerBuilder or reaching 500 applicants via HotJobs? Are those 5 additional viable applicants worth sifting through 400 more rejected apps?

Therefore, expect SEs to:

1) Initiate meta-classifieds services - leveraging search engine capabilities to crawl classifieds sites provides quantity.

2) Acquire additional shopping and classified players - (ala Yahoo > Kelkoo) and/or tie up deals with big players to become featured sellers. Another quantity play.

Example: Autotrader currently powers Yahoo Cars, in the future, they could be relegated to a 'featured seller' existence whilst the bulk of Y! listings come free from meta-search or direct listings. Another example is Kelkoo, who are by far the largest referrer to eBay Europe. If Yahoo/Kelkoo start accepting listings directly, ignorant independent classies could go the way of the LookSmart->MSN deal.

3) Synergistic integration - a natural extension of 1) as SEs firm up their classified services by cross-pollinating features such as Local Search, Mapping, Demographic Targeting, Community-based networking & referrals etc, thereby increasing quality. These features should increase ROI and potentially allow for a move into performance-based fees, and increasingly popular payment method.

How much will this affect the industry?

Will today's classified leaders become search engine add-ons of the future? Are today's aggregators simply acquisition fodder for SEs?

Back in the dark days, portals attracted all the ooh$ and aah$ whilst search was a 'good-enough' add-on. Today, the $ belong to classified sites but what if a search engine became the one-stop shop for buyers and sellers? Right now, Yahoo and MSN are powered by classified sites. If they were to develop an elegant solution for direct listings, they could effectively bypass the middlemen of classified sites. In conjunction with meta-classifieds and integrating existing search/portal properties to improve client ROI, these portals have a major advantage in the long term.

Almost all of my 'clients' are in the classifieds industry, many of them industry leaders. Many of them are aware of the competition that SEs pose in the short and long term. The question is, how will they respond? Are their strategies reactive or proactive? Will the trench warfare with their print cousins cloud the approach of the search behemoths upon the horizon?
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Old 10-24-2005   #6
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I'm positive many of you have already seen this, but for those who haven't HousingMaps.com of a combination betwen craigslist and GoogleMaps.

What I'm talking about in this thread is a lot bigger that that. A classifieds search engine, to be precise.... that takes into account all classifieds categories (primary and secondary).

-------------------------------------

BTW, Great post Shor!

(I gotta spread it around first ;-) )
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Old 10-24-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
What I'm talking about in this thread is a lot bigger that that. A classifieds search engine, to be precise.... that takes into account all classifieds categories (primary and secondary).
You mean like this http://www.oodle.com/ ?
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Old 10-24-2005   #8
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YES! Like that!
Quote:
Craig Donato, Scott Kister and Faith Sedlin founded Oodle in the Spring of 2004.
No wonder I didn't know about this... it's brand new! These guys created a great concept. Very close to what I was expecting.
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Old 10-24-2005   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
I'm positive many of you have already seen this, but for those who haven't HousingMaps.com of a combination betwen craigslist and GoogleMaps.
Coincidentally, just yesterday I talked to a project manager from a big real estate site about HousingMaps and the need for industrial-strength map-based searching (that retained G-maps speed and usability) and she pointed out that Google was already in talks with CoStar, a market-leader in providing real estate information. For folks who are unaware, CoStar are gigantic - they have several hundred data analysts/researchers and one of the largest real estate databases in the world.

A Google-CoStar alliance would create a real estate titan, even if Google initially only use the CoStar db for search queries - eg. search for "Florida Real Estate" and envision a high level Google link to a G-map of Florida with real estate listings. It would be easy to charge for featured listings on the map too...

Quote:
No wonder I didn't know about this... it's brand new! These guys created a great concept. Very close to what I was expecting.
I've seen oodle here and there, especially when they launched in Feb/Mar this year but since then they haven't really been on my radar. Their traffic(Alexa) seems low as well, considering how usable their site is from my brief playaround. I really like the G-map integration and their college-based channels. I would have thought that those sections especially would get good WOM/viral audience.
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Old 10-25-2005   #10
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Oh, isn't it ironic? What a great time for this topic as news of GoogleBase hits the blogosphere like an asteroid from Armageddon

Gary Price covers the GoogleBase news. Most interesting information thus far is the WSJ's article and the flikr screenshots. Wow! As Gary notes, it leaves about 10,000 questions but at least we have some concrete, confirmed evidence of a possible Googles classfieds play...

edit: Further coverage at Yahoo/AP with a Craig Donato quote:
Quote:
"As soon as you start competing with some of the people that you are indexing, it creates a completely different dynamic," said Craig Donato, chief executive of Oodle.com, a search engine that pools listings from dozens of classified advertising sites."

Last edited by shor : 10-25-2005 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-08-2005   #11
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http://www.beyondplanet.com

http://www.beyondplanet.com covers more categories than oodle.com. It lists on-sale items from local stores and travel specials.
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Old 11-11-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shor
Oh, isn't it ironic? What a great time for this topic as news of GoogleBase hits the blogosphere like an asteroid from Armageddon

Gary Price covers the GoogleBase news. Most interesting information thus far is the WSJ's article and the flikr screenshots. Wow! As Gary notes, it leaves about 10,000 questions but at least we have some concrete, confirmed evidence of a possible Googles classfieds play...

edit: Further coverage at Yahoo/AP with a Craig Donato quote:

Google already offers Froogle. Many insiders expect Google to go through with this Base project: Here is an article:

http://bestsyndication.com/2005/Dan-...lassifieds.htm
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Old 06-22-2008   #13
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Re: Who will be the 1st Classifieds Search Engine?

Have you guys seen Classifindster.com? It is pretty much what you are talking about. Pools all the big classifieds sites using a google custom search. Works pretty well.

Last edited by jimbeetle : 06-23-2008 at 09:30 AM. Reason: delinked
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Old 06-25-2008   #14
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Re: Who will be the 1st Classifieds Search Engine?

Of course Google is the first classified search engine. Google rocks!

Last edited by jimbeetle : 06-25-2008 at 11:26 PM. Reason: No sig links, please
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