After years of letting big search engines tell them what they want to read, Internet users are taking control of their browsers. A new breed of local directories, like our, is taking local search back to its roots and helping people find everything they need in their own communities.
The Beginning of the Internet
Once upon a time, the most popular destinations online were directory sites. Before search engines, with their ubiquitous – and ultimately distorting – algorithms, there were business directories that helped people find relevant local merchants, churches and information sources. Those who remember the early days of the Internet probably recall the original Yahoo! with its customizable home page, an idea that went away when Big Brother Google decided that it knew what you wanted to read.
Back then, you could point your browser to your personal home page and get your local news and weather, your horoscope, a listing of local events and information from all your favorite local restaurants, stores and service providers – all in one place. Readers could check out the sales from local stores, find doctors and dentists nearby and find out what their neighbors were doing all at one easy-to-remember website address.
The Changes Along the Way
And then it all changed. The rise of the search engine, with its ubiquitous mathematical algorithms, took control out of the hands of end users and put it into the hands of advertisers. While Google (and others) promised to deliver the results readers wanted, the truth is that mathematical algorithms are ultimately game-able, and clever advertisers with deep pockets easily found ways to game the system. The result was that a search for “dentist” churned up links to huge dentist referral websites rather than a list of local dentists, and “pizza” invariably linked you to national pizza chains rather than the mom-and-pop shop down the street that delivers until 3 a.m. every night of the week.
Local Search Directories Bring Back the Useful Internet
Now, the resurgence of the local search directory is turning a new page, one that looks an awful lot like the personalized home pages of the late 1990s. Websites like ours at FindUsLocal.com have all the charm and convenience of old-fashioned local directories, but we are powered by very modern geolocation services and local search to deliver far more than static information.
When users visit FindUsLocal, they don’t have to drill down through layer upon layer of directories to find what they want. Instead, the very front page features a plethora of information – all about things happening in their own home town. That’s because we use geolocation services to automatically serve up nearby results from businesses, events and many different social media sites. Visitors to our local business directory can find the latest reviews of local businesses, upcoming events at nearby venues, videos posted by their neighbors and friends – even coupons that they can use at businesses just around the corner.
For businesses, local search directories offer yet another boon – a way to be found by the people who matter the most – the potential customers that are likely to drop in and make use of those coupons and special savings. Many offer free listings for any local business, as well as premium listings that give business and organization owners more control over where and how their listing appears to site visitors.
Are you a consumer who is tired of getting national results when you look for a local business? Our local business directory could put an end to that frustration in just one search. And if you’re a business who wants to find a better way to reach out to the customers in your local area—instead of those across the country—then a local search directory is probably the answer you have been looking for. In short, if you long for the customizable and relevant searches of the past, then you should give our site a spin to find out exactly what you’ve been missing by limited your searches to the big guys.
With all these benefits and advantages, it’s no wonder that Internet users are deserting the big search engines in droves and finding their way to local search directories like ours at FindUsLocal.