Former Excite Execs Launch 'Local' Classifieds Search Engine
By Ina Steiner
Some early Excite executives have launched a new service called Oodle to help users search online classified ads for local listings. Oodle launched three beta versions: Chicago.oodle.com, Dallas.oodle.com and Philly.oodle.com. Oodle said it will roll out more than a dozen sites in other cities throughout 2005.
Oodle enables consumers to see all of the listings available in a local area. The beta versions include most of the major sources for local listings: a region's anchor newspaper, small suburban papers, Craigslist, eBay and national online sites like Monster.com and Cars.com. Oodle's technology categorizes listings to help users find what they are looking for; for example, users can click on breed, gender and color to find the right pet listing. The company says it uses patent-pending ClassiFind technology to assess listing quality and detect Spam or inappropriate listings.
Oodle offers email alerts, and has listings for local charities so consumers can learn which organizations accept goods and what volunteering opportunities are available. New sources are being added to Oodle on a daily basis.
"To date, innovations associated with online classifieds have been focused on the advertiser, making listings cheaper and easier to place," said Craig Donato, CEO of Oodle. "Oodle is the first service to focus on the needs of the buyer."
Oodle's search engine operates as an ad-supported business model, and Oodle provides free traffic to all the listing providers in its index. Listing providers can also join Oodle's affiliate partner program where they generate revenue by selling enhanced listings within Oodle.com.
The online classified advertising space has been heating up in the last year, with auction site eBay entering the space with several acquisitions, a stake in Craigslist, and the launch of its international Kijiji site.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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