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More often than not, when we think about SEO, we think about ranking our own site proper within the serps. But as serps move more towards authoritazation, one must consider the means to rank sites without ranking the site itself.
Time is of the essence, especially considering many YPs timestamp listings. Consider the position of YPs on these serps and consider whether your business should consider YPs and other local search providers.
Also, the next time you have to choose which YP categories (there are often many)to list your business (or your client's business) within, consider the distribution value of *particular* ranking categories within the serps.
the point to remember here is that local search providers are working hard to get there geo-vertical result sets crawled and indexed on the major serps. Not all YPs or local search provider is equal. When optimizing your sites, consider the condition of these serps and consider the value of listing in particular geo-vert catagories that rank on serps. No yp will list Google as a distribution partner. Many however, including city search, switchboard, and superpages, have taken the steps to extend this implicit value to you.
<edited to update links>
[edited by: Chicago at 4:01 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2004]
This is not surprising as the merchant either A) doesn't have a Web site; B) has a lousy Web site that is uncrawlable; or C) has an unoptimized Web site.
So from the perspective of a mom and pop shop, it's often easier to make sure that correct, helpful information is on the IYP regarding their business, than to A) build a Web site; B) fix a web site; C) optimize a Web site.
I believe this is what Yahoo is banking on with its enhanced listings. And I think other IYP type businesses that enjoy good placement in the SERPS would be wise to follow suit.
There are different ways to launch local businesses on the Web, and with so many businesses offline, there's room for a couple different business models.