To improve its local results, Google is paying Business Referral Representatives to canvas local businesses to collect information, such as hours of operation, and take digital photos of the establishments. The representatives get up to $10 (U.S.) for each approved and verified referral. You can sign up here.
Google tells candidates: “…you’ll be helping the businesses you refer attract new customers while also making it easier for people in your community to find the products and services they’re searching for.”
Long-established directories that have been struggling to stay relevant in the rapidly progressing search engine industry may see the already significant gaps widen. Late last year, comScore reported Google garnered 29.8 per cent of local searches by U.S. Internet users compared to just 3.9 per cent by YellowPages.com.
While competitors and Internet marketers will be studying Google’s Local Business Referral Referrals program closely, one thing’s for sure: the pace of the IYP/local search race is heating up and the offerings are going to get better.
Advantage: consumers, local businesses and, of course, advertisers.