• http://thunderseo.com MoniqueTheGeek

    Fantastic post David. I definitely agree with the lack of long-tail categories. We hear so much about Google serving relevant, quality info and sites to users, and yet the categories are so broad. We have a lot of small business clients that are in niche fields with keywords that don’t even come close to any of the suggested categories. What’s worse (as noted in Blumenthal’s Post earlier today), Google is now mandating that the first category field be a category chosen from their list of general categories. That’s one less opportunity to rank for a target term, and we all know how much of an impact that can make with a small business. We’re also huge believers in the power of local directories like CityVoter and Universal Business Listing, but how far can these citations take us when competing with the ever-increasing maps results? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to more posts.

  • http://fastcall411.com richrosen

    Hi David – It’s Rich Rosen from FastCall411. I learned at my first job (as a product manager for a record label) that in retail if there is no category for an item in the store, the consumer won’t know where to look for it. Of course, more data on a business is always better, but the searcher needs a starter category (restaurant, home services, personal services, professional services). I believe that we need to throw the NAICS and SIC codes out the window and start from scratch to categorize local industries. Start with the basics: Retail, Commercial, Both and work our way down. I also believe our industry needs to coalesce around an industry standard / clearinghouse. Otherwise, the merchant will lose and the consumer will never find what they are searching for *on the shelf*.

  • http://www.davidmihm.com David Mihm

    Thanks for your feedback, Monique and Rich. It’s going to be very interesting to watch the data-provider space in the coming months to see if there is any sort of coalescing of the kind Rich talks about. It sure would make business owners’ lives easier.