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«Return to Blog List How to Gain Maximum Advantage When People Search Local

As you may or may not be aware, Google and other search engines (yes, there are still others, more or less) are altering their approach to search to deliver "personalized" and local search results. This means if someone searches for "wood stoves santa fe," they get Santa Fe listings for wood stoves at the top of the page, rather than national listings. People are searching like this more and more, and the major search engines are changing how they deliver results based not only on the inclusion of a locale in the search terms, but also based on the searcher’s IP address, which tells them where you are. Theoretically, if you searched for "restaurants paris", you would get different results if you were in Paris, Texas, than if you were in Paris, France. Waaay different. If anyone can test that and get back to me, please do.

Also, as we’ve talked about here earlier, Google assigns greater relevance to regularly updated websites that contain focused content. As a business owner, you can benefit from these changes by blogging, and by listing your business on the major search engines’ local search listings.

Google Local Search

If you go to Google’s search page, down at the bottom you’ll see a link that says "Business Solutions." That link takes you to a page with links to a number of useful applications (including Google Analytics). The one we’re after is called "Local Business Center". Click on that and either sign in, if you already have a Google account, or create an account. Follow the instructions and you’ll have soon created a listing. Before your listing goes live, you’ll need to validate your listing by phone or US mail. If you select the phone option, you can elect to have them call within 5 minutes, and your listing will appear the next day.

Yahoo Local Search

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to navigate to the add-your-listing page, but once you’re there, you can begin the process of creating your listing. They have pre-defined business categories, and do not allow your listing outside of those categories. Also, you will have to create a Yahoo account, such as a Ymail account, if you do not already have one.

Microsoft Live Search

I’m not sure this is really a major search engine in terms of use, but it’s a Microsoft application, so you it’s hard to ignore. At Microsoft’s search engine, www.live.com, you can click on "More" above the search bar and click on "see all" on the dropdown menu that appears. That takes you to a screen that includes a link to "Local." And then… I got lost. Just go here and click the button to add your listing. Again, creation of an account is necessary (e.g., a Hotmail address), and again, you can validate your listing by having them call you or mail you validation information.

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