Community driven local search marching ahead.

Written by: Vivek Garg

On Mar 11th, 2007

After we did our last post on local search, comments & discussion indicate that people are not convinced, if community driven local search adds any value against the algorithmic ones. Here are some data points that I found very interesting.

 hitwise USA local traffic

LeeAnn Prescott says “Based on traffic to, Yahoo! Local and Live Local Search, it does not appear that interest in local search is increasing, but the substantial growth in Yelp’s traffic indicates that the social networking/local search combo is an effective means of engaging users around local content.”

This is very interesting but I am not sure if we can directly apply this to the Indian market. Nevertheless, I am expecting our local sites to follow suit. This actually prompted me to do a traffic analysis for Indian local search/social networking sites. Here is what Alexa shows:

indian local site traffic

Alexa traffic patterns might not be very accurate as it is based on their toolbar and I am not sure of the toolbar’s reach in India. But we can use this graph to compare traffic between these companies. MapMyIndia is leading here because there is lot of curiosity around maps. People spend lot of time trying to relate maps with their local knowledge of the city. And this shows why maps are important to create a complete local offering. If you take mapping out, Burrp and ilaaka are neck to neck. tolmolbol has little traffic because they are new. Most interesting is Onyomo that is been there for sometime but not getting much traffic. Anyone knows why?

Please leave your comments/thoughts on what you think of these charts.

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Entry Filed under: alexa,burrp,community search,hitwise,ilaaka,local community,local search,mapmyindia,onyomo,tolmolbol,yelp

10 Responses

  1. 1. Sameer Shisodia said on March 12th, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Wow – the timing of this piece really works out for us :) We’ve been convinced of this combination of content+community for a while now, and its finally manifested itself as Zook, which is being widely launched this week (SMS on 3030, or WAP/GPRS – More at

    Its true that despite google, and a gazillion other search and vertical engines, one finally gets a lot many answers from one’s network. At Zook we’re trying to make interacting with that network more efficient, and the search engine itself plugs in more or less as one of your contacts (it even asks your questions to help narrow down based on what you asked, not a per-defined taxonomy). Our belief is that this combination is what will drive real world usage of search tools, especially on the go.

  2. 2. kanika said on March 12th, 2007 at 4:53 am

    i am admittedly a burrp fan, but i must point out a mistake in your logic – burrp is only live in two cities whereas ilaaka is live in a bunch of cities. are you really comparing apples to apples here?

  3. 3. Vish said on March 12th, 2007 at 6:49 am

    There are a number of angles to this local search thing. First you have just search results for things like restaurants, events, and so forth.(I’ll call them ‘locals’).Then you have reviews for some of these ‘locals’.The first can be easily generated from a number of sources (infomedia, YP, etc).The second depends on your network and its willingness to generate reviews. The third angle naturally comes from the ability of your network to provide the results for the ‘locals’.
    All of these, IMO, are just information much like the info a tourist gets provided by the tourist office or online. I think the bottomline is that i need information…i.e. where can I find a restaurant. I really don’t care how I get it. And if it gets good reviews, its even better.
    Now coming to my point of a sustainable business model of such sites, that may not be easy to achieve.(and lets not just talk of eyeballs here).So its gonna be interesting to see who’s got the killer business model.
    (this is really turning out to be a grey monday:)

  4. 4. Rithesh Prasad said on March 12th, 2007 at 7:23 am


    Thanks for mentioning that tolmolbol is a new site. We have not been public for the full period covered by this analysis.

    BTW, I really doubt that enough India-based users use the Alexa toolbar. IMHO, it would be really cool if some reputable organization could perform a real-world field-study of random internet users “in India” and analyse how many of them have the Alexa toolbar installed.


  5. 5. Vivek Garg said on March 12th, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Kanika – The point is to compare traffic between these sites across all toolbar installations. Burrp being in two cities and still neck to neck with iLaaka can mean few things
    1. there are more installations in mumbai and bangalore and rest of the cities did not count too much.
    2. burrp has more traffic just from two cities than the combined traffic to ilaaka.

    I agree with Ritesh. To really do such analysis we need an india focused alexa. This seems like a good opportunity. May be Venture Intelligence can come to the rescue.

  6. 6. Vivek Garg said on March 13th, 2007 at 5:07 am

    A very interesting read related to local search.

    How Much Is ‘Local Search’ Really Worth?

  7. 7. Sameer said on April 3rd, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Can someone tell me if tolmolbol is owned by – a indian price comparison shopping site similar to

    Also, can you do a study of alexa/hitwise rankings for the shopping space like rediff, fabmall, etc as well as shopping comparison sites like bechna, tolmol, prisb, ultop, etc.


  8. 8. Vivek Garg said on April 4th, 2007 at 12:34 am

    I dont think these sites are related. but i could be wrong. But I will let Rithesh verify that.

  9. 9. Rockstar said on April 19th, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Tolmol seems to be the only site with Comparing Airfare & Trainfare,Local Offers etc…Looks good.

  10. 10. iLeher » Whet your appetite with Catching the Internet Wave in India said on December 14th, 2008 at 6:09 am

    […] Generally I found the site quite pleasing and all the basics are covered. Deepinder says that their biggest USP is the menu for EACH restaurant listed on the site. And I tend to agree. It is really nice to have a glance at the original menu card. Out of the other players in this space, most notable is, if we discount “everything local” plays like burrp and other community driven local search sites. Foodiebay definitely wants to go where hungryzone is today in terms of features. Hungryzone seems to have larger presence with lot of  features like ordering food or make a reservation, done using Zook. What makes foodiebay so interesting is the amount of traffic it is generating as per Alexa in such a short amount of time. Take a look at the following graph. It seems like these guys have caught up to hungryzone already and looking good. I have put burrp & yepme in there to compare the niche play against broader ones.  […]

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