Bill Slawski looks at patents behind Local Search ranking systems and their dependency on local business directories. All fine & dandy for the local restaurants and coffee houses, but what about when it comes down to local organizations or government services?
One of the places that a local search service might look for business information about an enterprise online is through business directories. A number of white papers on local search and geographic location information note that some organizations and places might not list themselves in those types of directories, because there is often a fee associated with many of the better ones.
I would guess that Libraries would be amongst that group with little incentive to hunt down directories, and pay to be included within them, yet also believe that there are many web sites that might list and link to libraries for free.
Bill outlines some searches on Google Local for libraries and finds a vast difference in the result relevancy when comparing searches in larger cities like New York or San Francisco to smaller ones, like Newark Delaware.
Bill gives this advice to local libraries:
If you run a Library, I believe that you can submit information about your library to the Google Local Business Center even though it isn’t a “business.” That may help information about your library show up correctly in Google Local listings.
Hopefully Gary Price, who sometimes serves as an unofficial (and at times official) liason between the search engine and librarian world will read Bill’s post and help to spread the word out to local librarians.