Best of the Web Launches Local Search

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There goes the Neighborhood!

It's something that we're really excited about

Best of the Web is pleased to announce its newest directory, a user-friendly aggregate of community-based information and services. BOTW Local (http://local.botw.org) will provide its users with free and indispensable information about their communities, utilizing BOTW's trusted catalog of over 16 million businesses.

Unlike major search engines, Best of the Web approaches the local market with the user's experience in mind. BOTW Local's index displays up-to-the-minute information such as weather forecasts, movie times, and area maps geo-targeted to users' locales. Additionally, BOTW Local's users are able to assess their community's businesses and services through a simple review function, and can view business evaluations by their peers and neighbors. A user can view basic front-page information like his or her local weather forecast, and immediately find locally appropriated dining or entertainment according to the conditions.

From a business owner's perspective, BOTW Local is a convenient and proven way to reach a new demographic. According to its creators, the increasing popularity of local search is indicative of the evolution of internet search behavior. As users expect more immediate and pertinent results from their searches, local search becomes a more relevant means. "It's something that we're really excited about," says Greg Hartnett, BOTW's President. "We're seeing more and more local searches daily, and the local space is really starting to heat up. As more users search locally, more small businesses see the benefit of advertising and visibility in the local search area."

Interested business owners can acquaint themselves with BOTW's services through three levels of Local membership: the free "Jump Start" listing (http://local.botw.org/jumpstart) allows for an expanded listing in the Local Directory, while the Premium (http://local.botw.org/premium) and Sponsored (http://local.botw.org/sponsored) listings offer more exposure to potential customers. BOTW Local promises its clients an unprecedented level of interaction with users in their area. Says Hartnett, "We have spent the better part of the last two years putting together a service that lets users and merchants interact and share information, and I think we've created a pretty compelling product."

"This service allows community members to engage with their local surroundings in really innovative ways," says Brian Prince, Best of the Web's CEO. "We've created a uniquely accessible informational resource at the community level. It's equally useful for business owners and patrons, and we're really proud of that accomplishment. We see a lot of promise in the local search space, and we're excited to be at the forefront of the movement."

About Best of the Web
"The Internet's oldest directory," Best of the Web (http://botw.org) got its start in 1994 by empowering the burgeoning online community to nominate and vote for best-of-class websites in a variety of categories. In 2002, Best of the Web re-launched as a comprehensive directory categorizing content-rich, well designed websites. Today, whether the topic at hand is choosing a college, refinancing a mortgage, or planning a party, BOTW gives meaningful guidance to many an Internet user, generating more than two million page views per month. In addition to its directory services, Best of the Web also offers a comprehensive Blog Directory (http://blogs.botw.org) and a Local Search Directory (http://local.botw.org) to link users to their communities. For more information on the Internet's oldest directory, visit the BOTW Blog, http://botwblog.org, the official company blog for everything Best of the Web.

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