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Rockford; Chicago; the World

 
 

Determining Important Portal Sites for Your City

Credits:  Wilson Web Marketing by Ralph Wilson www.wilsonweb.com

1.  Search Google for your city name or MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area).  See what comes up on top.

2.  Then search Google Directory (http://directory.google.com) for the area in (1).  Scan the results looking for a category that ends in "Guides and Directories".  When you click on this category, directories will be listed in Google Page Rank order.

3.  Also go to Alexa at www.alexa.com and check Alexa's ranking for each portal site to see how popular it is in relation to the other portal sites. 

Remember:  With Google Page Rank, 10 is the best you can get.  With Alexa, 1 is the best you can get.

4.  Tabulate the results in an Excel spreadsheet so you can sort them by Alexa and Google both.

 

Grouping Portal Sites (there is overlap)
Credits:  Wilson Web Marketing by Ralph Wilson www.wilsonweb.com

Type and URL Comment 1 . . . Comment 2 . . .
Internet Yellow Pages
SmartPages.com (www.smartpages.com/cityguides)
  • Owned by SBC
  • Provides City Guides for more than 20 cities.
Yellow Page listings often feed other portal sites!
National City Guides
CitySearch (www.citysearch.com)
AOL CityGuide (www.digitalcity.com)
AreaGuides.net (www.areaguides.net)
Cities.com (www.cities.com)
OnlineCityGuide (www.onlinecityguide.com)
Verizon SuperPages.com CityPages (www.superpages.com/cities/)
  • Partners with MSN, Yahoo! Search, Ask Jeeves, and others
  • Provides local arts and entertainment content for that city
  • Offers live events, calendars, local sports, and recreation events
  • Parent company is IAC/InterActiveCorp
  • CitySearch is operated by Ticket Master.
  • Other companies owned by IAC include Lending Tree, Hotels.com, Match.com, RealEstate.com, Home Shopping Network, and Hotwire.com
  • CitySearch offers various types of PPC and CPM ads
Newspaper Based Guides
Charlotte Observer (www.charlotte.com), Boston Globe (www.boston.com)
ShopLocal.com (www.shoplocal.com)
  • Media based sites
  • Emphasize news, classifieds, local shopping
For local businesses who market to residents
Local Based City Guides like Denver.org and Fort Worth.com
Check you area If your business is tourist related, check out advertising on these sites
Portal Tie-ins to Local Search Engines, Part 1
Yahoo! Local
This is not Yahoo! Search (formerly Overture).  This is Yahoo! Local (http://local.yahoo.com)

 

Basic listings in Yahoo! Local are free.

Enhanced listings are $9.95/month introductory (includes placement of business in 5 categories, links to your site, paragraph of operating info (faq's, payments, etc.), services provided, tagline or meme, business description, up to 2 coupons, and 10 photos.

Portal Tie-ins to Local Search Engines, Part 2
Yahoo! Yellow Pages (http://yp.yahoo.com)
  • Receives data from SBC SmartPages.com and InfoUSA. 
  • A basic listing is free - includes 1 detail page with map.
Three (3) additional tiers of ad enhancement (http://edit.yp.yahoo.com/learnmore)

Tier 1 $60:  top placement, logo, text line, and photo; Tier 2 $40:  text line and better placement; Tier 3 $25: placement above non-sponsored

Portal Tie-ins to Local Search Engines, Part 3
Yahoo! Local City Guides (http://cityguides.local.yahoo.com
  • Enhanced by CitySearch.com with reviews and ratings
  • Links to local autos, real estate, HotJobs, personals, and movies
To get listings into city guides, go thru CitySearch
Portal Tie-ins to Local Search Engines, Part 4
Yahoo! Maps (http://maps.yahoo.com)
Provides an easy path to local offerings.  When you search on an address and city or zip, a map will be displayed with the opportunity to get detail directions.  From the map page displayed, you can get the business name by mouseover with a link for "More Information".  Clicking on the link takes you to Yahoo! Yellow Pages.   
To show up fully on Yahoo! engine, advertise with Yahoo! Sponsored Search for PPC ads, Yahoo! Yellow Pages for enhanced listings, Yahoo! Local for enhanced listings, and with CitySearch for enhanced listings. 
Google Local (Beta, http://local.google.com). 

Offerings are very simple.  Google does not have a link to Google Local.  If you do a Google search that includes using a zip code or business name, a link to Google Local will appear at the top of the page results.  The compass logo will identify the link.

Google has no city guides or city sites. To find a local business, search by the keyword plus the location, i.e. web development, Rockford IL.  The results page will show a listing of those types of businesses sorted by distance from the center of the search city.  When you click on a business link, the detail page provides a map of the business location plus links on the web that reference this business.  If the business has a web site, it will be near the top of the information plus there will be links to other web pages that mention this business.

Ask Jeeves Local (http://local.ask.com) is very new. 

Resembles Google more than Yahoo! in display and listings.  PPC ads come from CitySearch.

Tip:  Effective local business advertising means that you should assess your city or MSA to determine whether there are important (dominant) online portals that need to be added to the advertising mix in addition to Yahoo! Searches Local Sponsored Search.
 
 

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