Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) India has launched a public beta of its local search service, writes Ashish Sihna, a Yahoo employee at Pluggd.in. The service currently covers four cities (Bombay, Banglore, Chennai and Delhi) with Restaurant, Pubs, Shopping Malls and Health listings. The restaurant listings have a nice addition with map locations. The content itself is open for editing (Yahoo id required); no idea if the edits are moderated, though. Business information is provided by Indiacom, the Yellow Pages property holder. Depth of listings is comprehensive with links to websites and a send-to-mobile option. I honestly believe Yahoo maps, at least for India, is superior to Google (NSDQ: GOOG). The identification of landmarks and even bylanes is more detailed even in cities as convoluted as Bombay. Another product feature not currently live is Essentialist, which puts together listings as an “essential list” for queries like Moving to Koramangala and Getting Married In Koramangala. The overall product is in direct competition to other local search providers, especially Google Local, Burrp, Justdial and Asklaila, the first predominantly relying on user reviews for lifestyle listings.
Nikhil adds: This product has been in the works for at least eight months (probably more). Also take a look at Yahoo OurCity, which is more of a city-wise content aggregation product. Don’t you think there’s scope for combining the two – enable local search and also content discovery at the same site? I really like the Essentialist feature…and an Essentialist for “Organizing Industry Mixer In Delhi” would suit me just fine…While on that, why not allow users to create and share their essential lists?