With the aim of helping both small businesses and search engine users, AskPoodle.com is kind of a Yahoo Answers for small business search, showcasing a human powered yellow page directory that connects specific user queries to the most relevant business links in real time.
Explaining how AskPoodle works in simple terms, when a user enters a specific query, the AskPoodle’s crawlers route the search query to all the local business registered with AskPoodle and find a specific business that matches the query’s terms.
Businesses receive a notification about the search query and visit AskPoodle’s portal to answer the user’s query. This is being made possible by AskPoodle’s use of IP Telephony and open-sourced Asterisks which effectively alerts businesses of the current search that happens to match their specific service or commodity.
AskPoodle’s search portal seems complicated to use at first but it only takes a couple of minutes to learn the portals ins and outs. The AskPoodle portal has 3 built-in windows for entering specific search information:
- City & State or Zip code – make sure to enter the correct city of a particular state, or the correct format of a zip code
- Category or Keyword – to limit search using suggested terms displayed in a pull down option box
- Local search result needs – to further limit the search query
Taking a spin of AskPoodle’s local search, I searched for “Tampa, Fl” specifically to find for specific bar and restaurants. AskPoodle displays the following results (click on the image to enlarge it).
The search result page is very similar to Google’s portal and it gives you that trademark Google simple web portal look. In terms of search result relevance, AskPoodle’s search result is pretty impressive and considering that this is a human-powered search engine, response time is at a tolerable speed.
To offer further search result filtering, AskPoodle has two filtering categories identifies where the search query will be posted. Before hitting the submit button, users can choose whether the search query will be displayed on public forums opening up more fruitful search results from members of online communities or choose the consumer posting option to call every business match and alert them of your search results.
For advertisers and business communities’ point of view, AskPoodle offers a vibrant advertising program that could possibly lead to a profitable yield. AskPoodle closes the gap between consumers and businesses by enabling business entities to carry out their sales pitch to search engine identified consumers. For the consumer, AskPoodle provides a nifty way of finding what they need when they needed it.
Overall, AskPoodle has the potential of making it big if some minor improvements are done to improve its interface. The simple white and blue theme of the portal can be further improved into a vibrant design. There is nothing wrong with a lively interface as it can attract more users as compared to the dull and old Google-like theme.