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IAC local strategies: Citysearch vs. AskCity

I asked the $31 billion question yesterday, “How do YOU find local info?”How about the $11 billion IAC (market cap) question: “Will you look for local info at Citysearch or AskCity?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

I asked the $31 billion question yesterday, “How do YOU find local info?”

How about the $11 billion IAC (market cap) question: “Will you look for local info at Citysearch or AskCity?”

 

In “IAC’s AskCity is hard to ask” I discuss the launch yesterday of what IAC CEO Barry Diller calls “our local service,” AskCity; IAC’s original “local service," Citysearch, however, is similarly called “your guide to everything local.”

 

Does Citysearch feel dissed? After all, sister property Ask.com is touting its AskCity “local search” service and “asks” on its home page:

 

Try the NEW AskCity: Local Events, Movies, Businesses & more.

Citysearch has long been describing itself as a “leading local search" service:

Providing the most up-to-date information on businesses, from restaurants and retail, to travel and professional services. Citysearch empowers users to make informed decisions about where to spend their time and money.

Citysearch “local search” vs. AskCity “local search.” Any sibling rivalry in the IAC family, or are they (almost) identical twins?

I put Citysearch and AskCity to the local search test with the query: NYC Afghan restaurants.

Citysearch.com:

1) Hompage; Enter city & state (new york, ny),
2) New York City Guide Homepage; Keyword box for “business” (afghan restaurants), location pre-populated (new york, ny),
3) Directory listings of Afghan restaurants in NYC; Click on “Map These Results.”

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Ask.com:

1) Homepage: Keyword box (nyc afghan restaurants),
2) General search results; Back button to homepage,
3) Click on AskCity text link,
4) AskCity Homepage: Business or Category keyword box (afghan restaurants) and Location keyword box (nyc)

 

dmm120506ac.jpg

 

Conclusion: The comparable results are not surprising given Citysearch uses maps by Ask and AskCity uses content by Citysearch!

Why another IAC local property? Why not invest in the Citysearch brand instead of building out a second local offering, or why not consolidate local into one AskCity brand? Why duplicate spending to drive overall IAC local usage and have two IAC properties competing for traffic and advertisers?

Multiple local brands/offerings is a difficult online strategy to pull off.

Barry Diller will have a chance to promote his IAC “integrated conglomerate” philosophy at an upcoming investor conference call.

TAKE THE LOCAL POLL!

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