May 22nd, 2008
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve received a few different inquiries regarding Google and local search. One was how to show up in Google Maps results, one was how to show up in the natural results for local searches, and one was how to appear above the fold for localized Google AdWords campaigns.
Why not achieve all three of them, plus some “piggy back” SEO?
The last SES conference I’ve been to was in San Jose close to two years ago, but Atlanta-based Stacy Williams from Prominent Placement gave a great example on how a local company can dominate results. To this day, it holds true.
There’s some dominance!
To many search marketers, this isn’t anything new. To local business owners, this may be. Google separates their natural, local, and paid listings. There’s no reason a local business can’t do the same.
Regarding “piggy back” SEO, this comes down to both local (Maps) and natural listings. By having profiles in places like SuperPages.com and CitySearch.com can only help. Google Local helps legitimize your profile and Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) results often appear toward the top in the natural results.
May 26th, 2007
As a consumer, I normally use Google Maps when looking for local business information. I’ve been trying to switch that up lately. A week ago, I had a simple but nice user experience, and decided to give them some quick props on Yahoo Local.
This time, I’m searching for information. Citysearch has a newer facelift so it’s time to put them to the test. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited friends in Seattle and am planning to go there sometime this year, preferably during Bumbershoot.
Continue reading at the Search Engine Guide.
May 2nd, 2007
I’m impressed. They mentioned they were giving it a new look, and it certainly looks appealing.
They also talked about some local customization with this relaunch. It’s pretty subtle, but I like the few different Twin Cities images they rotate in the upper-right corner.
Donna Bogatin from ZDNet provides her input regarding the facelift and new video ads, and if it makes local search cool.
I’ll have some near-future input on how their new look works with local search, but wanted to at least give it an initial mention.
I’ve mentioned Martini Blu in regards to local search before, and I’m guessing they’ll like their Citysearch page. It’s pretty enticing.
March 1st, 2007
Coming soon, Insider Pages will be acquired by Citysearch and run as a separate operating unit.
The two sites are essentially in the same business, but Insider Pages, with strength in the home and garden category, complements Citysearch’s strengths in arts and entertainment.
There has been news and rumors about layoffs and a potential sale for awhile. What really surprised me is there are currently only ten employees.
All 10 Insider Pages employees will move from Redwood City to Citysearch’s San Francisco office.
Citysearch has been very strong in user reviews long before it became popular in search marketing, and is keeping busy so far in 2007 with a new, big sales center.
For local businesses, people are talking about you online… and they will continue to talk about you whether you like it or not. It’s certainly a good idea to proactively thank people who speak highly of you, and to proactively provide a remedy for those who do not.
http://twincities.citysearch.com/corrections/enter_a_location.html (if you’re not in the Twin Cities, just replace it with your metro area)
October 18th, 2006
This didn’t take long, although they were already putting the finishing touches on it. Since a recent Citysearch post about an upcoming re-branding effort, they have now launched a new SMS-based mobile search feature. Just text a search term.zipcode (pizza.55401), and send it to CS411 (27411). I just figured they always had something like this.
I did try the standard “pizza” search and found some pretty relevant results along with their “best of” 10-point rating system.
Many visitors might search for a health club when in town, so I did a text for gym.55401 and sent it off. The first mobile result that came back was a 9.9 rated personal training studio that happens to have over 20 raving reviews on the Citysearch site.
That might not be the most relevant result for a visitor searching for a gym, but it kinda’ makes me want to join. It’s only 6 blocks from here… and I sit at a computer for much of the day. The 2nd and 3rd (of 4) results were for standard health clubs in downtown Minneapolis. The 4th was for a yoga studio just outside of downtown.
Hat tip to the SEW Blog.
October 15th, 2006
In November 2004, I wrote on how search engines and Internet yellow pages (IYPs) were really starting to work well with each other. Included was a chunk on Citysearch and how their listings were constantly visible in Google search results (also noted in a blog post a couple months back). In fact, the three examples given are still prevalent in Google (and often Yahoo) today:
pizza joints in Seattle
day spa Miami
martini bar Minneapolis
Martini Blu has been a pretty constant result the whole time, which can probably contribute to the over 40 mixed user reviews dating back to October, 2002.
Citysearch hasn’t always been the buzz regarding user-generated media, but they’ve been visible the whole time. The Local Onliner’s Peter Krasilovsky talks with new EVP Scott Morrow about what’s in store for the future.
In a nutshell, we can look forward to a more local look, ramped up editorial efforts, new third party content providers, and a renewed focus on user-generated content.
My nickel is on Citysearch having a very good 2007. They already have the content and visibility. There’s a reason that IAC chairman and CEO Barry Diller says their (content) quality puts everyone else to shame. It’s not because of ask.com.