Search Engine Adds Maps to Classifieds

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Oodle, a search engine for local classified ads, said yesterday that it is incorporating Google Maps into its classifieds searches.


Users of Oodle, San Mateo, CA, can get local classifieds listings only in the map area they choose. Oodle aggregates classifieds listings from local newspapers and national Web sites, such as eBay, Cars.com and Homes & Land.


Oodle co-founder Craig Donato said the map function is particularly helpful for people searching for homes or apartments.


"You can focus the map on wherever you're interested in living, and we'll only show you the results of that," he said.


Map searches are particularly important to local classifieds advertisers, Donato said, because consumers generally start local product and service searches online, but purchase offline.


"You're going to end up looking at the apartment ... or kick the tires on a used car ... as such, the location of where that good is at is very important," he said. "Classifieds advertisers want qualified customers going to their Web site, and this helps people more quickly use classifieds."


Though Oodle's Maps service through Google is fully functional, Oodle plans to change the service as it receives consumer feedback.


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