Google Launches Indexed Local Directory Portals
Hat tip to Linda Buquet of Catalyst Local Marketing for being the first to spot the Austin and Portland versions below, and thus the first to publicize the overall concept.
Google has just released city-specific business directories that are clearly going to compete with Yelp, Citysearch, and all the other IYPs in terms of highlighting popular local businesses.
These are indexed, rankable pages within Google’s search results (here’s the proof). When Place Pages first came out, we were surprised Google chose to index them…which they quickly chalked up to engineer error. Something tells me these might be here to stay in the search results, though.
They are yet another entry point for business owners to sign up for Places and get into Google Offers. Talkbin seems like it might have some interesting applications but so far no one from Google has followed up on my application so I don’t have anything further to report.
Here’s an earlier version (presumably a mockup) that doesn’t even use a Portland photo:
Here is a list of the portals I was able to find (which roughly mirror their Offers/Places feet-on-the-street pushes):
(Charlotte does not yet have a page, I guess)
And interestingly, Google.com/seattle actually points to a jobs page for Google’s Kirkland office.
I am actually a little surprised it took them this long to do…my biggest question is when will Facebook do the same?
Let me know if you come across any other Google City Portals in the comments.