R.H. Donnelley today announced the integration of user ratings and reviews to its flagship IYP, DexKnows. Although this is the official launch, reviews have been live on the site for a few weeks now.
The integration, metrics and lessons learned in the first few weeks, were discussed in depth by RHD head of competitive strategies and innovation Jill Hammond during a consumer review-focused panel at last week’s DDC conference (see blog post).
We’re seeing many such integrations by IYPs and local search destinations (Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, Google Maps). And through this, many users are coming to expect user reviews as a part of the local search experience.
At the same time, many challenges still await, such as motivating participation in more obscure categories and locales. The fact that reviews aren’t yet a big enough cultural phenomenon to garner the levels of participation that would make a consistent and worthwhile product across categories is one reason why the timing isn’t right yet for some IYPs such as Yellowbook.com.
Alfred Chow, Yellow Book senior manager, Internet, made a strong case why the timing isn’t right yet for his company, both on the DDC panel and in comments to a blog post last week.