Seznam.cz, a search engine in the Czech Republic which is still holding a vast number of users, recently announced changes that are about to affect mainly businesses in the Czech market including branches of international companies.
The most important change concerns its business directory Firmy.cz, with its more than 610 thousand business listings, making it the largest business directory in the Czech market. Firmy.cz has modified its user interface as well as the payment model. Since April, it has been using a very advanced and unique Pay-Per-Day payment model. Businesses can create their listings for free and can bid to achieve higher rankings and positions in the directory, or the chosen category, respectively.
These changes were made in order to modernize the so-far slightly old-fashioned environment to attract more visitors, as well as give the businesses the opportunity to manage their ROI.
Businesses Now Able to Manage ROI
Businesses can bid for certain rankings for particular keywords in particular categories. In the stats panel, they can actually view the search volumes, clicks and average positions. Based on the popularity of the search query and the listing, Seznam also displays the results in its standard SERP. Prices start at 10 CZK (approx. 0.35 EUR) per day.
Firms have been granted by a larger space for their presentations as well as the option to upload a photo of their branch (auto-generated from a website screenshot, if not used).
New Features for Users
Definitely, the most dominant feature in the search results is the photo. When searching for a business, users can opt to search in a standard way or choosing listings on the map. Users can also add listings to favourites or insert their own reviews and ratings. The best feature in my point of view is the filters: as a user, you can refine your search by selecting multiple criteria such as Wi-Fi, non-smoking area, parking lot, credit card payments, currently open branches and many more. Really cool.
Another new feature is an automatic location detection, thanks to which users can search for local stores or branches located nearby. This unique algorithm was developed by Seznam itself and represents a valuable feature when targeting Czech users locally: other geo-targeting options e.g. in Google Adwords have not been very accurate, as the majority of IP addresses is registered in Prague. And that works okay in mobile browsers as well.
Time will tell if this progressive model can work. The original idea of a chessboard layout proved to be far too progressive and Seznam had to return the classic layout eventually. As Adam Szabó, Seznam’s product manager confirmed, the new Pay-Per-Day bidding model has not been tested before nor found anywhere else, so we can now be witnessing a breakthrough in the business directories segment. And not just in local terms.
Changes to Seznam’s business directory firmy.cz in a nutshell
- Modified interface using the so-called chessboard layout (a photo + a description)
- New Pay-Per-Day bidding model: the bottom line is actually determined by the market
- Modified search results page: Standard view or Map view
- New geo-targeting algorithm detecting the location of the user while searching
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