|Local Advertising Platform|
I need some advice
Hi everyone. I am new to the forum, so I apologize if this topic has been discussed.
I am looking to develop a content/feed management system where I can submit a webpage or new company listing to all 40 directories in one shot. Its basically a feed system that builds in all the "feed" rules from all the directories like Yahoo, Google, MSN, SuperPages, ASK, YellowBook etc. We sell advertising packages to small business owners in my local area. They don't know too much about the internet, and don't want to venture out to paid search. They want a simple method to be found on all the local directories with a 3 page website and contact info. In addition they want the ability to log in and change their info whenever they have to and then resubmit the new info back to the engines/directories. I know one company that does it, but I would like to build this platform myself. Can anyone offer advise or refer someone that would have extensive knowledge on how to build such a platform? I would be so appreciative.
[edited by: tedster at 8:40 pm (utc) on April 18, 2008]
I'd recommend using standard RSS. It's well supported by many libraries, and has the potential for growth. You can shoehorn it into doing what you need (I think). I've used RSS for special access (as opposed to SOAP, which, in my experience ain't so useful).
However, I have used custom XML in a similar situation. It's up to you. Custom XML will give you exactly what you need, but you'll have to provide a lot more support, or you can use a known platform like RSS or Atom.
You could also use a combination: RSS out to the client, custom XML back.
You will need to research each of these 3rd party directories and how they update their listings. Sending a new address to Google will not likely be the same as sending the same info to YellowBook. Maybe some of them will have a public API. Most, I suspect, will not.
In fact, many of these services poach off one another by indexing each other's listings, which makes them not so much a directory, but an aggregator of other directories.
Architecturally, it makes sense to build custom objects or libraries representing each of these 3rd party sites, to which you can pass a standardized XML object.
in pseudocode, it'll look something like this:
$xml = "all your client's information";
you can even repurpose the XML for your minibrochure pages
of course, building each of these routines is the tricky part.
How would get around the issue of unique letters/numbers-you know those "squiggly codes" that are required by some submission engines?
I think Yahoo or Superpages requires it. Can an XML/RSS feed platform work around that?
Thx so much
are you talking about a tilde?
Honestly, in building the application you've described, you'll be faced with far more advanced challenges than getting around some squiggly codes. I suggest you hire a programmer to help you out with this project. In your job ad, be sure to mention that the applicant must have experience with squiggly codes.