No. 1468
May 21st, 2012

The Local Search Ecosystem in Canada

We (the faculty) recently completed our first Local University north of the border, May 1st in Edmonton, thanks to the awesome efforts of Darren Shaw to get a room full of 150 business owners to the event.  As part of the preparation for that event, it was necessary to create a Canadian version of my Local Search Ecosystem graphic that seems to be so popular here in the U.S.

Without *much* further ado, here that is.  But I particularly want to thank Darren aka Edmonton SEO (his Twitter handle) again for his help in putting this together and also Ontario SEO Jim Rudnick, for this excellent starting point on Canadian citations (Twitter).

The Canadian Local Search Ecosystem

A few comments about some of the differences between the U.S. and Canada:

YellowPages Group

As with my U.S. graphic, I’ve done my best to represent the importance of various sources via the size of their logos.  You’ll surely note the prominence of the YPG logo in the Canadian version.

Unlike the U.S., which has two titans of aggregation, Infogroup and Localeze, there is really only one commercial aggregator of primary business information, and that is YellowPages Group.  Infogroup does have a presence in Canada but it’s much less robust than their excellent ExpressUpdateUSA product and I was not able to find many examples of sites which featured Infogroup data (or at least sites that admitted that publicly).

YPG, meanwhile, owns several of the most prominent citation sources including Canpages and 411, and even Google Maps still references them as a provider of business listings for business owners who have not yet claimed their Place Page.

Industry Canada

I was fascinated to discover that the Canadian government puts out an extremely crawlable list of registered businesses which I suspect Google relies on pretty heavily, if not as a primary source then at least as a means of validating information it aggregates from other sources.  And it wouldn’t be too hard for developers of other IYPs up north to scrape that index and create their own baseline database.

And, as with my U.S. graphic:

Please respect my intellectual property and do not reproduce this graphic without my permission.  The Canadian graphic alone represents several dozen hours of research, design, and layout.  You are more than welcome to link to the original on, but please, don’t rip it off and republish it elsewhere on the web.  So far, I’ve not turned anyone down who’s asked permission to use it in a presentation to small business owners or other search professionals.