Local Search: I Told You, You Need A web site

If there’s ONE reason you MUST have a web site, it’s because the race to find LOCAL service providers is heating up – quickly.

Yahoo, MSN and Google are all helping their readers find local merchants. But there are other (less well known and well funded) companies who are helping connect local communities with local providers as well. Having a web site is a great way to ensure local “searches” find your local business.
The NY Times writes It is not a unique idea. Entrepreneurs have formed companies from A to Z with the same goal. Angie¬?s List (www.angieslist.com), which got its start as a phone-in service, developed a Web strategy in 1999. Intuit, the maker of Quicken and TurboTax software, started Zipingo (www.zipingo.com) last year.
The local search sites are trying to capture word-of-mouth wisdom, catalog it and disseminate it online. Like a Friendster or MySpace, they apply the social networking power of the Web, but they do something a bit more useful than share the self portraits that teenagers take in their bathroom mirrors. (Social networking is dot-com-speak for, ¬?We get our users to supply our content free.¬?)
The local search sites seek to replace that disappearing ¬? or at least harder to find ¬? American institution, the know-it-all neighbor who can recommend the best of anything.