Google is introducing a program it’s calling Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. This new portal (Get Your Business Online) is not unlike Facebook’s Blueprint and Learn How sites launched this week. It offers resources to business owners (and potential partners) to help them get online or correct and complete their online presences.
Each user who visits will see a localized version of the site (based on IP detection). In addition to various FAQs, videos and other information, Google invites business owners to search for themselves and then tells them whether their listings are present and complete. If “incomplete” it asks businesses to update their information.
For those not online at all, Google is also offering a free domain and hosted website (for one year) through Startlogic.
Consistent with its AdWords reseller strategy Google is also trying to reach out to local chambers of commerce and other organizations locally to assist in the effort of getting business data into Google:
We’re also forming partnerships with local organizations—like chambers and small business development centers—and equipping them with free trainings and customized city materials to run workshops just like the one Marieshia attended in Garland. These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone—and they recognize the value of getting businesses online.
Getting and maintaining accurate local business data is veritable trench warfare. If you want to know the nuances and challenges of local digital presence management, come to the Local Search Advantage Workshop in Seattle right after our SMX Advanced search conference.
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