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Article Title:
Using Business Listings to Harness the Power of Local Search

Article Description:
Local search is getting bigger every day. All the major search 
engines are now pursuing it and users are getting more accustomed 
to using it. What is local search exactly?

Additional Article Information:
585 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Mar 31 05:28:22 EST 2006

Written By:     Chris Beasley
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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Using Business Listings to Harness the Power of Local Search
Copyright © 2006 Chris Beasley
Oddity Software

Local search is getting bigger every day. All the major search
engines are now pursuing it and users are getting more accustomed
to using it. What is local search exactly? Well it is more or
less a way to search your local phone book, only using the search
technology of major search engines. Basically people use it to
search for small businesses or services that are offered locally
where they live. Whether they want to find the phone number of a
specific business, or find a business in a specific category,
they turn to local search.
There are two main methods for using search engines to draw
traffic to a site. The first method is to try to rank well on a
popular keyword, you often deal with heavy competition when you
do this, but the payoffs can be excellent. The other method is to
have so much content that you rank well on more obscure searches,
searches with little competition. Each individual search term
might bring in only a little traffic, but with hundreds or
thousands of them you could get traffic comparable to method 1.
Optimizing for local search is like method 2, basically you want
to carry information on as many small businesses as possible. No
one searches for any particular business that often, but if you
have data on thousands of businesses the traffic should add up.
So, to take advantage of local search as a content site publisher
your goal should be to add business listings related to your
content. Its true, not every content website is a good fit with
business listings, but many are, and if yours is you can get an
increase in unique visitors on the scale of a few hundred to a
few thousand just by implementing business listings.
The fact is, it is far easier to get ranked under a company's
name rather than getting ranked under the service that that
company provides. For instance if you run a site on mortgages you
will have a tough time getting listed at the top for "mortgage
broker" but if you implement a database of <a
href="";>mortgage brokers</a>
on your site you can end up in the top 10 results for thousands
of small business searches all relating to mortgage brokers.
Additionally, there is so far very little competition from other
content publishers in the local search arena. That might change
now that I've written this article, but for now it is easy
So, all you need is a database of thousands of business listings,
easy right? Well, if you don't want to do all that data entry
yourself you can buy the databases already compiled. <a 
Software</a> is a company that creates and compiles such 
databases, it's really an ingenious and useful idea. Their 
library extends beyond business listings though, they also carry 
content databases such as jokes or lyrics. Most databases can be 
delivered in practically any format you desire, from Access to 
MySQL to plain text, and prices are very reasonable. Scanning 
their database list spawns dozens of website ideas for me. Also, 
if they do not have a database you need, ask them for it, they're 
pretty good at getting requests filled.
So there you go, adding business listings is an easy way to 
expand your site, get listed on local search, get more unique 
visitors, and it isn't even that hard or costly. If you can find 
such a <a 
href="";>database</a> to 
fit your site's content I would heartily 
consider using it.

Chris Beasley writes for <a href="";>Oddity 
Oddity Software is a rapidly growing custom development and 
software outsourcing company. We specialize in the development 
of custom software applications and software outsourcing 
services. Specifically, our company carries out custom 
programming, database design, client-server and internet/intranet 
software application development.



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