Yahoo! Your Town In The News

    March 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The newest beta from Yahoo News allows its multitude of users to select their cities and see a module of local headlines appear on the main Yahoo News page.

Search Engine Journal points us to the latest bit of news from Yahoo. It’s news about Yahoo Local News, as observed by blogger and Weber Shandwick PR pro Robert Ricci.

Users can browse the selection of available states in the beta test of Yahoo News Local, and select from available cities. Yahoo’s gifted web developers have generously included the WebProNews home city of Lexington, KY, in the beta.

Once added to Yahoo News, a module titled “Lexington Area” (see a screenshot here) shows up on the main Yahoo News page. The familiar tabbed interface on the modules lets the user select headlines from local online newspapers, switching them within the module window with each click.

Also, users can suggest a news source to Yahoo’s staff, if a particular one of local interest has not yet appeared in the beta test. Now we can begin the certain-to-begin speculation on what this means to the broader business picture.

Yahoo and its search competitors greatly covet the local search advertising market. With its millions of registered users, Yahoo could approach newspaper publishers and offer them a Yahoo Publisher Network membership along with the mechanism of driving traffic from those members to the newspaper sites from Yahoo News.

That in turn could be another way to entice local businesses to advertise with Yahoo. If Yahoo’s users are finding their local news on Yahoo anyway, why not let them find that business via ads within Yahoo’s various services?

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.