If you can believe it, Marchex has simultaneously launched more than 100,000 local and vertical search sites representing over a billion pages. The move is probably unprecedented outside of a search index. In May 2006, Marchex acquired local search site OpenList and has used its technology assets and methodology to enable this launch. Before this acquisition, its domain portfolio business was essentially a collection of links to advertisers.
These sites still contain ads but they’re mostly content sites in which people can rate businesses and perform the kinds of local searches they would do on a yellow pages site or local search engine. See, for example, this result for “Sushi, New York” from Cuisine.com.
Mapping and the ads themselves come from Yahoo.
Through this relaunch what the company has effectively done is built a massive local ad network. And it will eventually knit all these sites together through links back to OpenList, which will itself relaunch in the fall. The company says it has 31 million uniques, in the aggregate, across these sites.
Most companies launch the destination and then think about SEO. Marchex is effectively leading with a massive SEO strategy with the consumer destination to follow.