The conclusion of our interview with Jay Mallinckrodt  of Yokld.com

Q. How are businesses added to the system?  via individuals? via on-line databases?
A. Any business can be added by any member of the Yokld user community at any time. At this point we have opted not to purchase a local database since we want the content to only include the user communities favorite local businesses.

Q. I have done a bit of searching through Yokld and I keep getting the message “Sorry, no businesses could be found that meet your filter criteria”…
A. Since Yokld is being built out based on user generated content some geographic locations don’t have businesses added for them yet.  As the user base grows the content will grow exponentially with the community.

Q. How many businesses do you currently have in the database.
A. The Yokld user community, since November 2007, have added over 1,450 of their favorite business to Yokld.

Q. How is this any different from Yelp?
A.

  • One click ranking vs Yelp’s traditional five-star rating system.
  • Yokld site is cleaner – free of the clutter that is incorporated into every page of Yelp results.
  • The best businesses, based on user feedback, are easier to identify and review
  • Yokld’s functionality that allows users to share and recommend their favorite business via email this listing and page (Beta Version)
  • Additionally, in the Beta release, businesses in a users profile will be sortable by City/St, Business Type ( i.e. eat, drink, travel, etc..) and Category so that friends and family can find the “Best” local businesses that I have recommended.

Q. Why do you think Yokld will work and/or survive?
A.

  • Yokld provides an alternative local solution where users can check the validity of other sites rating and comments.
  • Continued growth of local search and the need for alternative quick, easy, and effective solutions.
  • Social networking adoption and Yokld’s future (Beta Release) of friends features that will provide a forum for local business recommendations between friends.
  • At this point the business has been bootstrapped by myself and two other founders.  Therefore, our overhead is very low which will allow us to be nimble in our efforts to grow organically.  We are in the initial process or raising money which would fund additional technology/site development and marketing.

Q. Where do you see local search going in 2008?
A. We believe that the local search market has great potential in 2008 with;

  • The continued transition of ad spending to the Internet
    • Local search ad spending projected to be $4.1 billion by 2011. Veronis Suhler Stevenson, August 2007
  • Increased user adoption of the Internet as a means to find local business information.
    • Out of the 130 million monthly unique users of Yahoo last year, 116 million of them came to Yahoo with local intent. Hilary Schneider, Executive Vice President, Global Partnership Solutions, Yahoo!
  • User need and usage of alternative sites to validate local businesses ( i.e. Yokld’s ranking process and comments)
    • 60% of all local business searches now happen online (33% happen in print yellow pages) and 82% of the people using local search sites follow up their research with offline action.TMP Directional Marketing-comScore, August 2007

* Above stats compiled by SearchEngineLand

While local search may be a tough market we believe that even a niche market adoption of Yokld can provide our user community an extremely useful service.  Just think about how many people ask their friends for a restaurant, bar, doctor, etc. recommendation — with Yokld users can easily access their friends Yokld profile and get the same local business recommendation.

Thank you Jay for your time and best of luck with Yokld.com