ZipLocal: Canadian Local Search

27 Mar

The newest local search site has arrived, and this time its Canadian: ZipLocal

My standard practice of welcoming a new site is to usually point out about a dozen mistakes they have commited (usually over at Greg Sterling’s blog). But things change, and this time I have my own blog – huzzah!

Furthermore, in terms of disclosure, the investing company behind ZipLocal was interested in our iBegin product. I met them. But I’m reviewing these guys because – well, I review all local sites.

So, things that ZipLocal needs to fix up:

  • The frontpage takes eons to load. The frontpage took 10.875 seconds to load. I can only assume its the gobs of JS they are loading, but simply unacceptable.
  • Beta 1.0. Slight one, but seeing that just angers me beyond belief. These guys have existed as RedToronto for years. They have been working on this for a while. Sure there will be bugs. But what the hell do you need a beta 1.0 line for?
  • I’m a big stickler for un-needed linkies. Why have something that turns off Display Tips? The actual display tips are actually very cool, and kudos to them. But when I look in the top right, I expect a login (or *hint* language selection). Having it there seems like a waste
  • ‘Send Feedback’ vs ‘Contact us’ – what exactly is the difference? Why not just have the ‘Send Feedback’ form on the Contact us page?
  • Need to clean up their categorization – Q – “Quilts Whol & Mfrs” doesn’t cut it. I have an entire list of popular abbreviations for categories if you want it :) [from 'acces' to 'whol']
  • I hate the fact that on certain inner pages I have to go back to the frontpage to do a search. What the hell people – if I visited the Help page you can be damn sure I am interested in searching.
  • We own two stat-tracking programs. Combined, they track 500,000 uniques per day. And guess what – 4-6% have Javascript off. So when I click on your feedback link and end up here, you can be sure I am unimpressed.
  • The CSS has to be tweaked on the frontpage. When you actually fill out what and where, the text is aligned way to the top of the search box, with maybe 2 pixel padding on top, and 10 on the bottom
  • Search results: that radius circle is quite cool. And having the TTC (Toronto) on the map also – very cool. Nice one on that.
  • I think the choice of Google Adsense colors made me cry. Holy painful on the eyes batman
  • The map hated me when I was using it. I pressed zoom in twice, the map image disappeared, it hung for roughly 10 seconds, and then WHOOSH came back. The map is *VERY* sluggish – it just chugs on my machine (and this puppy has 2 gigs of ram and enough horsepower)
  • I hate it when I click on a listing I get this massive box that takes up the entire space above the map, when all it needs is a few hundred pixels. Talk about jarring experience. And what is with that + in the topright of that popup – how am I suppoused to magically fathom that it takes me to a page.
  • I would like a list view. Mostly because the map is amazingly slow.
  • It has built in directions. Pretty damn cool
  • The site passed the apostrophe test – huzzah guys. Almost everyone out there chokes on the fearsome ‘
  • The names are normalized – again, good job on that.
  • Clicking on ‘Your Search History’ throws out the smallest scrollbar imaginable. I did notice that it did not overlap over the map. Come on – that sucks. And dont use a stop sign for the image – use an X image.
  • If they don’t find any results, they spit that out without the option of extending the search radius. Why?
  • The search couldn’t find Wal-Mart (even though it would suggest that name). This is with a 75 km radius from downtown Toronto – the right most part was Oshawa, and it even covered Hamilton and Niagara Falls. And no Wal-mart?

Just because of the Wal-mart debacle, I give it a D-

Whew – that turned out to be a long one. They should be paying me for this :)

12 Responses to ZipLocal: Canadian Local Search



March 27th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Style and usability issues aside, I think it’ll be the data (or lack thereof) that kills them.

For example, “burgers” at “toronto” gave me Ho Lee Chow (chinese food) as the number one result — yikes!



March 27th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Ouch – I know Amy (from ZipLocal) read this, so hopefully she can fix that up.

PS. I have to admit, I did like the Ho Lee Chow – it was a <1 minute walk from my place.


Amy Rae

March 28th, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Yes, that one hurt- as it should – fixed ‘burgers’ this am.

Ahmed- working on Wal-Mart for you…save your allowance and I’ll get you to a Wal-Mart asap…

Take care,



March 28th, 2007 at 8:41 pm

Ouch again.

I know of some other site that does have Wal-mart ;)



April 2nd, 2007 at 12:24 pm

To Ahmed, I see your on all the ZipLocal Blogs and what do you do with your time?

somewhat like me I guess leaving your cyber trail of comments.

have a great day and I really like ziplocal. its here, its not new invention just a better way to find local businesses. now I have to get into my car and follow that arrow walmart is the next town over.



April 2nd, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Hrmm – and here I thought I had only commented on one ziplocal post.

I do comment a lot – it’s what I do.



July 9th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

yellowpages are better



July 9th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

That doesn’t help anyone – no reason no rhyme as to why you think ‘yellowpages are better’ helps no one.



August 17th, 2007 at 11:01 am

I keep removing your comment because there is absolutely no proof whatsoever.


Hung to Dry

August 17th, 2007 at 9:31 pm

You want proof. January 23rd, 2007 The Ziplocal Management came into Montreal office and fired 23 people. Between 10am and 1pm 23 people were let go.
The left overs, the persons who managed to be kept on were there to see all of this no warning no reason.
After this the left over employees seemed to all go against each other. I guess when your job may be on the line some people will resort to anything.
Since January 23rd, many other have been abruptly fired, and most recently the police were involved in removing an employee.
Although the scammer is still there and your right no proof maybe the RCMP can prove it to you. Go to Google and type in this name Leslie Pinsky and you can read all about the scam you say there is no proof of.


Hung to Dry

August 17th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

This particular person I am speaking about purchased a Sports Car in the late 90’s
and paid for in in like 6 weeks. CASH. Also bought a house.

Keep in mind she was an uneducated single mother at the time.

AND she also told me all about this particular start to her Career of Telemarketing.

You want proof….Well there ya go.


Hung to Dry

August 17th, 2007 at 9:36 pm

so all said and done.

They are fake and full of it. The management is on some kind of power trip.

The Human Resource Person is well educated so her resume states. She can be very creative in creating fun games for employees to role play and she can be very organized however she obviously missed the course on how to deal with people on a human level.

Her name is Janet Dodge or Dodge the bullet if you see her coming your way. Your out of a Job. No questions no answers and they dont care.

Considering that they are NO WHERE on the WEB they took a great thing and flushed it down the toilet.

Good luck to them.

and Girls you lying bunch of girls BAD KARMA to you.