Herndon-based bilingual search engine expands reach
Original Text published here by ElevationDC
by Allyson Jacob
YaSabe, the Spanish “yellow pages” headquartered in Herndon, is gaining traffic on its site thanks to more robust relationships with Spanish-language media partners like Univision, Dallas newspaper Al Día and now Atlanta-based Mundo Hispanico.
YaSabe’s bilingual search engine helps Spanish-speaking Americans find the information they need. It crawls the Internet for data, translates it into Spanish and tags it for users. Its categories are geared toward the information Spanish speakers might need: bilingual service providers, jobs for people fluent in more than one language, 18 different types of Latin cuisine.
Azim Tejani, the company’s executive vice president, says that 20 percent of YaSabe’s traffic comes directly to the site, 50 percent comes from search engines where users search for terms like “pedicura” instead of “pedicure” and the remaining traffic comes from its partnerships with media companies serving Spanish-speaking Ameri, like Mundo Hispanico, a 55-year-old publication owned by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “They’re adding our traffic and building a digital business by selling digital ad subscriptions to [traditional] print ad [customers],” Tejani says.
The AJC‘s parent company Cox also owns the Austin American-Statesman, which Tejani says will be a YaSabe media partner beginning next month with its Spanish-language ¡Ahora sí!. YaSabe also now has partnerships with publications in Houston and Miami.
Presumably these companies are hoping to replicate the success that one of YaSabe’s first media partners has had. Yasabe has been powering TV network Univision’s search engines since 2013. The result has been “millions of unique visitors and steadily rising traffic” on Univision’s site, Tejani says.
Additionally, YaSabe has launched a series of interactive, locally-based community guides and boards that, according to Tejani, are filling a gap for Hispanic-Americans.
“The community guides unify discovery and search functions for U.S. Hispanics,” Tejani says. “[They act like] real-time bulletin boards outside a grocery store, with classified ads for jobs, cars for sale, coupons and so on.” The boards also help users resolve search queries, such as “Where do you get good empanadas?” and “Which doctors speak Spanish?” in a particular location.
Tejani says that YaSabe differs from other search engines because it is built for mobile. “Other media partners are building …from the perspective of the desktop,” he explains. “We built it for mobile [and] it will show up in a responsive way on the desktop. Our audience is 75 percent mobile.” According to Tejani, 30 percent of Hispanics use their mobile device as their sole broadband point of access. “That’s a very big deal for tech and for content providers.”