Bizwiki Blog

Archive for the 'Local Search' Category

A Big Thank You to Everyone Who Submitted Their Company

Since we launched the Beta version of last week we have been very pleased with the sheer volume of user registrations and company submissions.

We would like to especially thank Choice Window Tinting Orlando for being the first submission we received, just minutes after the US Beta was launched. We wish you all the best in your business and hope your free listing on brings you many new customers.

Most companies submitting their details are taking advantage of the Message from the Company field which is great. That’s your space, go ahead and tell us all about what a fantastic company you have and why we should do business with you. Bizwiki editors do not amend what you place in the Message from the Company field (unless it has obviously not been written on behalf of the company) so feel free to advertise yourself as much as you want.

And don’t forget that your initial submission doesn’t have to be the end. If you would like to add more details to your record you can at any time. Both additions and updates are free so if you forgot to add your toll free number or your website address why not do it now? Please note that our editors review all submissions and updates to ensure accuracy.

It’s early days and we have a lot of new features planned for so please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or comments you might have. We’d love to hear from you.

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Bizwiki iGoogle Gadget

Now there is a new way to search Bizwiki UK — check out the new Bizwiki iGoogle gadget. You can add the Bizwiki UK gadget to your iGoogle homepage, stick it on your Google toolbar and even embed it into your own website.

The Bizwiki UK gadget was developed by our own Casey Lee and we love it.

Give it a go and tell us what you think. We’ll be developing one for Bizwiki US as well so stay tuned!

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We are pleased to announce that the US Bizwiki site is now live as an Alpha version.

What this means is that this is an early version of the site that doesn’t contain all the features that are planned for the final version, and some of the features are not fully functional (that’s the way our technical team describes anything that’s not really working properly that they don’t want to be asked to fix yet).

A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes, but in the meantime having the site up on a publicly accessible website gives us a chance to stress-test the servers and have a few live users try it out from varying locations.

We will invite more users when the site hits the Beta stage, but in the meantime please feel free to browse around the site and hopefully get an idea of the scope of our ambition in launching the US version of the Business Wiki site that anyone can edit – there will be over ten million companies and organisations listed here when we’re finished!

Here’s to an exciting 2009 from everyone at Bizwiki!

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Do the Yellow Pages Face Extinction?

In a recent the Wall Street Journal blog post, Kelly Spors wrote an article titled ‘Yellow Pages Face Extinction’, which says ‘Publishers of the local directories often dropped on doorsteps are bleeding money, my colleague Emily Steel writes today. These directories rely on small businesses in particular for advertising, but many businesses are reining in their marketing budgets in the bad economy and buying fewer yellow pages ads – not to mention just the steady migration over time to online advertising.’

The article continues, ‘Some businesses also feel their money is better spent online by focusing on search-engine optimization or getting a local search ad listing through a company like Google rather than sticking with online ads offered by the traditional print directory publishers. If yellow pages directories were indeed to go extinct it would be a big jolt for the many small businesses that use them as the primary way to generate leads to their business.’

This may be an unexpected point of view for someone writing for Bizwiki, a site totally committed to moving local business information online and away from the paper books, but I’d have to say traditional Yellow Page books are not going to be extinct any time soon.

It is certainly true that many companies are finding advertising online is a lot cheaper and easier to target than adverts in the phone books, and that it provides quantifiable trackable results. However, much though I may hate to admit it, there are sections of the public that still rely on the print editions and remain more comfortable looking things up in a printed book, particularly when it comes to older demographic groups, and the local books are likely to retain these as an audience.

It’s not that long since internet pundits were predicting the end of the newspaper, yet despite similar pressure from online news sites (including their own online editions) printed newspapers look like they are here to stay.

Simply put, Yellow Pages, Thomson Directories and similar print publications are facing a lot of erosion of market share they could previously have taken for granted, and no doubt this translates into pressure on their bottom lines and a thinning of their margins and profitability. However, as Mark Twain might have said, reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated.

Decline is not demise.

Full Article:

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More Secrets to promoting your business online – SMX London 2008

One of the sessions at this year’s Search Marketing Expo (SMX) was called ‘Search 3.0: Local Search & Blended Results’ and focused on how local listings are being blended into the regular results of major search engines.

Susan Hallam of Hallam Communications referred to a review carried out by Hitwise, saying that there are several new entrants in the local search industry that should not be overlooked when marketing your business, including Business Directory (one of the business sites that are powered by Bizwiki).

Businesses are also advised to encourage their clients, partners and customers to submit their feedback and reviews to third party sites, since search engines are pulling in business contact details/ review information and blending them all together.

According to Heini van Bergen of Tribal Internet Marketing, nearly 30%-40% of searches have local intent, and for a local business like a dog grooming business in Leeds it is vital to show-up well in search results when someone searches using a keyword combined with either a location name (Leeds) or a postcode (LS7 or LS22).

Among many useful search marketing tips, several stood out. If you do have a business, ensure that:

- its website is linked to from other local business sites (i.e. Leeds pet owners clubs, Leeds pet stores etc.);
- it is added to local business directories (especially if you don’t have a company website yet or do not intend to have one);
- it is added to nationwide online business directories;
- it gets genuine reviews on independent 3rd party sites.

“Personal reviews are the most trusted form of advertising, and they have to be on third party sites, not your own website. But please, do not be tempted to write fake reviews”, – concluded Susan Hallam. Sound advice for anyone who is looking to promote their business online.

Ready to get started? Add your company to Bizwiki, or start contributing additional information and details if your business is already listed.

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Bizwiki at Search Marketing Expo SMX London

Jurga Galvan, Bizwiki’s Social Marketer, will be attending the Search Marketing Expo on November 4 & 5. If you’re going to be at SMX London drop Jurga a note to let her know – comments (at)

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It’s Official – Web Overtakes Print for Local Search Queries

A new study of 3000 US consumers puts local search at the top of the charts for ways people use to find local business information.

TMP Direction Marketing’s Local Search Usage Study confirms that in 2008 the web comes out ahead of print for local business information searches. Last year’s study showed printed phone directories as having a slightly larger following with 33% of respondents citing print as their first point of call for local information and the web following closely behind at 30%.

This year the tables have turned and search engines top the list at 31% with printed directories falling to 30%. It’s a close race, but as Screenwerk’s Greg Stirling puts it, we have now passed the tipping point. I wholeheartedly agree with Greg’s comment that there will be differences in the web/print usage depending on the category and market but the trend is definitely moving towards the richer data consumers can find online. Printed directories simply can’t provide reviews, opening hours, product and service details in the same way that online local directories can.

What this means to local businesses is that it’s now essential to have a good local search presence. A listing on Google Local, Bizwiki (and the sites Bizwiki powers) and other free online business directories and local search sites help to put your details in front of your potential customers. The good news is that, unlike some of the print directories, Bizwiki is free and you’re not limited to just a phone number and address. And Bizwiki also saves you time by placing your listing on not just the one (albeit fantastic!) site, Bizwiki also powers other major local search sites such as, and British Services as well as industry specific verticals such as BuilderNet.

Have you signed up for your free listing?

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Bizwiki Launches Instant Publishing

Bizwiki has just launched an exciting new ‘Instant Publishing’ feature. Where previously if you submitted a new company to Bizwiki it would only be publicly available once an editor had verified and approved it, now all submissions will be instantly published on the site and immediately available on Bizwiki to the general public.

In line with our goal of creating a website that is both a comprehensive and reliable resource for the public, these new records will be marked as ‘Awaiting Approval’ until an editor has reviewed them. This lets users know that Bizwiki Editors have not yet checked the information and contact details. Once the submission has been verified and approved that label will be removed and at that point the record will also be distributed to the other sites that Bizwiki powers.

Please note that this update only applies to brand new submissions. Any revision (change) requests will currently still be held for Editor verification and approval.

We’re planning a lot more updates in the coming months and are now powering some of the UK‘s most popular local search sites. More information about submitting to Bizwiki can be found on our FAQ section. And remember, it’s FREE and you can add your website, branches and as much factual information as you want. So submit your company and get listed now!

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Bizwiki at Hyperlocal Mashup

Two of the people behind Bizwiki will be at the Hyperlocal (Local 2.0) mashup Workshop in London tomorrow (3rd October).

This Workshop aims to provide a forum for the people, organisations and companies working in the ‘local’ sector affected by and developing solutions, to collaborate around a number of key issues.

Keith Hinde, Bizwiki’s Chief Technical Architect, and Jurga Galvan, Bizwiki’s Social Marketer will be in attendance, so if you have any questions or would like a chat about what we’re doing in the local space please feel free to come along.

Mashup Hyperlocal

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Bizwiki’s NaturalSearch

Yesterday’s post on the Kelsy Group blog highlights the fact that people no longer want to search through categories to find businesses, they want to search by service or product or other “keywords”. They want to use “natural search”.

This is where Bizwiki is leading the way in local search. Bizwiki provides the standard categorisation for anyone wishing to search that way, however the majority of our users use the free form search box. By building a unique synonym set and merging it with our own proprietary algorithm Bizwiki is able to provide relevant local results in seconds.

Here are just a few examples of the relevant results Bizwiki’s NaturalSearch functionality provides:

Looking for a curry house in Birmingham?

Has your Selby office run out of printer ink?

Do you need help selling your Essex based business?

Want to know where the all night petrol stations in Warwick are?

Going on holiday from Swansea and need travel money?

NaturalSearch is the way forward. Why limit users to selecting a category? Why confine them to some archaic taxonomy?

Bizwiki’s NaturalSearch technology is still in the beginning stages. If you think it’s good now just wait til you see what we have in store!

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