Facebook Connect Bringing CitySearch Back Up to Par?

Veteran online local search service Citysearch has finally revealed its redesigned site, which is currently in beta testing but will eventually become the new face of Citysearch. The site has received a near-complete overhaul, shifting the focus to become more social and hopefully more relevant to end users.

Taking cues from the majority of relative newcomers in the field, such as Yelp, Citysearch has begun to do things like look to users for more content contribution (i.e. reviews, votes), as well as an improved mobile interface for additional accessibility on the go.Ă‚ The mobile aspect of Citysearch is important for the ongoing upgrades for better localized content.Ă‚

But Citysearch is also using this revamp as an opportunity to become far more social in a highly integrated manner.Ă‚ We first learned of Citysearch’s plans to join Facebook Connect earlier this year, when Facebook announced the new program at its second f8 event in July.Ă‚ By participating in Facebook Connect, Citysearch will be able to enable users to login with their Facebook credentials, as well as penetrate deeper into established social networks by providing Facebook users a way to share their Citysearch reviews and ratings via their news feeds.

What may be equally as helpful and far more relevant to Facebook users headed over to Citysearch is the ability to access Citysearch data as it pertains to them, based on their Facebook network. For example, a query on Citysearch can display results from your Facebook friends first.Ă‚ While this does assume that your Facebook network will provide more relevant information based on your friends, it does speak to the improved ability to provide relevant information based on things it already know about you–your social graph.

Though I don’t think a direct use of one’s social graph will be the end of the line for providing relevant data for search results, it is a good use of integrated applications and can be powerful for Citysearch’s ability to keep up with the times.