In a “why didn’t they do that earlier?” news story of the day we read that Google has taken out the links to Yahoo Maps & MapQuest in their special local section in the Google web search results pages.
Google used to suggest these alternatives, along with Google Maps, so readers could make a choice – and Google probably had a great measurement of Maps popularity and branding by tracking the click thrus.
Previously, a search for “541 Lexington Avenue New York” (W Hotel), for example, would have yielded a choice among Google Maps, Yahoo and MapQuest. Here’s the search result today.
A variety of searches I performed, that should have provided the Yahoo and MapQuest links, were similar in offering only Google Maps.
Searching directly for Yahoo Maps or MapQuest of course provides links to those sites. But the removal of those links from “generic” searches could impact their traffic in a meaningful way. MapQuest, which is the category leader, has plenty of direct traffic but Yahoo and Google Maps are running neck and neck. And so Yahoo may be the site that suffers most from this move.