Local business search is becoming more of an area of great focus by search providers as time goes on. Google, especially, has been working overtime on providing new features that can help users find local businesses of interest. AOL's MapQuest has been working on improving its own business search functionality, which we talked to the company a little about.
What kind of traffic do you get from MapQuest? Comment here.
MapQuest recently launched a new geosearch engine to power location search, and plans to do more with business listings before the year is over. Businesses should pay attention, as this is another place where users look for information about businesses related to specific places.
"Many of our users search for specific businesses or business categories in order to obtain maps and directions," a spokesperson for MapQuest tells WebProNews. "In addition, many of our users search for types of businesses nearby another location. For example, if a user obtains a map of the hotel where they are staying for a meeting, the user may then search for restaurants nearby. MapQuest’s extensive database of business listings provides consumers with relevant business listings based upon the user’s search query."
"MapQuest also provides consumers with the business name, address, phone, website as well as additional details such as hours of operation, user ratings and reviews, photos and more," she continues. "As a result, businesses benefit from leads several different ways, including people driving to and visiting the physical location, making a phone call or visiting the website."
MapQuest might not be the first thing businesses think of in terms of driving traffic, but it is an option that should perhaps not be ignored. According to the latest data from Compete, MapQuest.com gets nearly 40 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. By comparison, Bing only gets over 50 million according to the same data set.
Benefits of the new MapQuest search engine include more accurate, relevant results based upon the user's query, according to the company. A feedback link is also provided, where users may submit comments and feedback related to their search experience.
"We also have nearly 1 million City Search listings that provide a wealth of information and has the ability to drive traffic to the business web site," the spokesperon says. "Businesses can offer very helpful information including menus, coupons, and more on their CitySearch listing. Businesses should contact CitySearch to become part of the information feed."
MapQuest obtains business listing information from multiple data sources. Businesses may report business listing changes such as additions, edits and deletions. They can change phone and FAX, business name, location address, city, state, and ZIP code, contact information, primary line of business and web site information.
MapQuest has 16+ million "Points of Interest", with the majority being businesses through its InfoUSA database."At MapQuest, we're consistently looking at ways to enhance our data for users," she says. "We will be offering ways to work directly with us for a business listing later this year."
The company would not get specific about what its plans are, but regardless of the rise in popularity of Maps from places like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, MapQuest is still worth recognizing, and may provide additional traffic.
Do you consider MapQuest an important part of your strategy? Let us know.