One of the comments made about local search regularly is, “fragmented.”  In general I would agree. There seems to be a lot of competing programs, directories, theories, etc out there, but as time goes on and the market develops more, much of this should go away. (hopefully)

One of the areas that I see as fragmented is local directories-there are a ton of them out there. The question that I raise, is “which should I use?” I did a search for directories for Augusta GA and got the following: (this is a partial listing)

augustabiz.com
surfaugusta.com
helloaugusta.com
augusta-richmond-spot.com
ga.allpages.com
wunderground.com/US/GA/Augusta.html
augusta-ga.iaf.net/yellowcities.php
discoverourtown.com/GA/Augusta
yellowpages.aol.com/ga/augusta
resourcelinks.net/augustaga.htm
talkingphonebook.com/portals/2831.jhtml
10best.com/Augusta/  travel
local.com/results.aspx?keyword=….
augustaga.areaguides.net
downtownaugusta.com
citytowninfo.com/places/georgia/augusta

Some these you might have heard of, as they are part of a larger network; other you have not. Some are local products, such as AugustaBiz or Downtownaugusta.com.  To be honest, I had not heard of or even used most of these.

To answer my own question, I would use the one that provides the best listings,  good quality traffic,  frequently is updated, easy to navigate,  etc. So for me that would be AugustaBiz.com.

Now in June, Marchex launched more than 100,000 local web directories.  Many folks have already written/commented about this:  Marchex’s press release, Kelsey Group, Chris Linnett at Search Engine Land , so I won’t repeat it here.

My initial response was wow-even more directories, just what we need.  But as I read what others have said, Marchex’s press release, and looking at some of the sites, I changed my mind. Marchex is not dumb, they have created a very large local network with huge advertising and traffic potentials.  This launch is only the beginning, more is to come from Marchex.  Maybe this could help provide some stability in the local directory market? We shall see.

As for the small local business, local directories can provide an affordable advertising avenue or simply provide another place to get a business listing.  Before you plop down some money,  do some research for your area and see what local directories are out there.  When evaluating a directory, ask yourself the question, “would I use this?”

When you can answer,  “yes”, that is where I would start.