Marketplaces 2009: CitySearch CEO Jay Herratti

Citysearch CEO Jay Herratti, in a keynote at Marketplaces 2009 in Los Angeles, stressed that there are four things that local sites need to focus on: being more local, mobile social and balanced. “Local is really an evolution,” he said. “Now the evolution is transforming the marketplace from cities down to neighborhoods.” Accordingly, Citysearch has “rearchitected” from 150 sites to 75,000.

“It is our hybrid local strategy,” said Herratti. “Tp be hyperlocal, you need to understand geography – not just in New York, but in small cities. And to the neighborhood level. The real power is doing hyperlocal not just in New York or LA, but with everything in between.”

Mobile is going to be especially important going forward. “There is no better hyperlocal application than mobile,” said Herratti. “It is really about what is immediately around you.” The emergence of smartphones has also made it easier to use phones to submit reviews. Citysearch was especially surprised by the explosion of reviews on the Web from mobile, said Herratti.

The emergence of social is another “huge trend,” said Herratti. “Everything has changed (from last year). Nothing is happening on the Web that is not social.”