Citysearch Brings Back Free Business Listings, Adds Twitter

Filed in Local Search, Social Media by Matt McGee on December 6, 2009 26 Comments

Citysearch logoFree business listings are available again on Citysearch. That’s just one of the announcements Citysearch is making tonight, but it’s the one that’s drawn the most discussion and interest among readers of this blog. (You may recall the blog posts this summer about the disappearance of the “Add A Business” page, and Citysearch’s promise to bring it back.)

How to Add a Business to Citysearch

The best way to start is to go to Citysearch and search for your business. If it’s not already in their database, you’ll get a “We found no results message” with a link to add your business. It looks like this:

citysearch-1

That link points to this URL, the default page for adding a business to Citysearch: http://national.citysearch.com/profile/add_business. Note that if you’re in a larger city/metro than I am, your URL may be customized to your location, like this URL for Seattle businesses to add a listing: http://seattle.citysearch.com/profile/add_business.

The Add A Business page requires very basic business information and offers a fairly limited set of categories to choose from. You also have the option of rating or writing a review at the same time as you submit your business, but I don’t recommend reviewing yourself. (It looks spammy.)

Adding a basic listing to Citysearch is free.

How to Claim Your Citysearch Listing

If your business is already in Citysearch’s database, you can use the business profile page to claim the listing. Look for the “Own this Business?” link below your business information to get started on claiming your listing.

citysearch-2

Claiming an existing listing on Citysearch is also free.

New: Twitter & Tweets on Citysearch Business Profile Pages

Also announced tonight is the addition of Twitter data and messages (“tweets”) to Citysearch business profile pages. Here’s what all is involved:

1.) Create Twitter accounts via Citysearch. When signing up for a business listing, or when claiming/editing an existing listing, businesses will be invited to create a Twitter account (or provide a Twitter username if they already have one). This is the first time any site has offered Twitter account creation without going through Twitter.com. Citysearch is using Twitter’s API for this, as well as these other features on business profile pages.

2.) Twitter data as core business information. Citysearch is making a push on the social side of local business search. Businesses that provide their Twitter or Facebook account information will see that data elevated with the core business data, like this:

citysearch3

During a call on Friday, Citysearch told me that they are moving in the direction of becoming a directory of businesses on Twitter and Facebook.

3.) Tweets as business reviews. The Twitter partnership also includes the inclusion of tweets about a business right on the business profile page, along with a tool to post to Twitter right from the business listing. It looks like this:

citysearch4

(see the Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar listing for a live look)

The obvious concern here is that not every tweet about a business is positive. And yes, if Twitter users are saying bad things about a business on Twitter, those may appear on the business listing page. Citysearch says tweets are a type of review, and just as reviews posted on the site may be negative, tweets might, too. However, in extreme cases where a Twitter user seems to be targeting a certain business, that business owner can use Twitter’s own “block” function to prevent the tweets from appearing on its business listing page.

Citysearch says the addition of other social media information to business profile pages, such as Facebook status updates, is “on our radar.” They’re also planning an “extensive FAQ” about Twitter’s integration into Citysearch, and plan to educate business owners about the bigger issue of social media and reputation management.

Your turn: What are your thoughts on the inclusion of Twitter and tweets on Citysearch business profile pages? What about the Add A Business feature coming back? Comments are open.

(more about Citysearch and Twitter on Techmeme)

Comments (26)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Steve Perez says:

    Hey Matt-
    Talk about the local search – social media collision course…
    Opening a Twitter account through Citysearch is almost bizarre. Exciting times. Almost impossible to keep up. I’ve never seen so many everybody’s trying to keep up with and/or outdo everyone else in the Search realm. It reminds me of an unforgettable movie line from “The Game”, “Discovering the object of the game is the object of the game”. Times like these, if your in the game, you had better know why your in the game. Thanks for the superbly constructed and informed post, as always. I am a regular reader, though, not much of a comment maker. God bless and have a wonderful Holiday season.

  2. Lee says:

    Hi Matt,
    Great blog, I just happened upon it in doing searches regarding Citysearch and free listings. Just out of curiosity, do you know if the free listing will also include the ability to accept reviews of your business? When I signed up a year ago, I had to pay $129 for the ability to accept reviews, but now I’d like to sign up a new business and hopefully won’t have to pay those fees this time around.

    I’d also like to get my first business off the payment plan if I am able to accept reviews for free. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

  3. Matt McGee says:

    I wasn’t aware you ever had to pay for the ability to accept reviews. How did they justify the expense? Seems like it should be the default, and you have to pay if you don’t want reviews.

  4. DRobertson says:

    I gave up on Citysearch over a year ago. There reporting is worse than the White House. Nothing is transparent and nothing shows you actual results or lack thereof.

    They keep bothering me to come back on saying the reporting is much better now. Do you have any info on this? I can definitely say I was a victim of the PPC fraud in ’08 and left after losing months of $$$. Very frustrating.

  5. Scarlett says:

    I just tried this, and all “My Citysearch” will allow me to do now that I’ve “Added a business” is allow me to put the title of my business and upload a picture.
    I cannot:
    -add a physical address
    -add a phone #
    -add an email address
    -add facebook or twitter information
    Also you mention adding a review in this article, but that feature is no longer available (I agree with you that reviewing yourself looks spammy, but it appears that CS has taken this option away altogether so perhaps it stands to reason that they’ve removed other options as well.)

    Is Citysearch moving toward requiring payment for this basic listing info?

  6. Kevin says:

    What would be great is if anyone could do a screen shot video of them actually putting a business listing on citysearch. When I see it, I’ll believe it.

    Why would a website make things so difficult to place a listing on their website. This makes no sense. As difficult as they are to deal with you’d think Google has a hand in it some how.

    If someone can do a screen shot video, please post the url to your video in the comments on this blog so I can see this mystery of citysearch solved first hand.

  7. Sean says:

    Thanks for helping me find where to post my listing – in fact, you probably helped influence their decision to bring back free postings :).

  8. Brian says:

    thanks, ive been trying to figure out how to do a citysearch listing for 2 hours. im affraid they MAY have done away with the free listings again.

  9. Margie says:

    I have listed my business on citysearch and the results were not to be expected. I have spent 150.00 and still no customers. Citysearch has free listing currently and that what I will do cause the cost is not cheap!!

  10. Roger says:

    After going thru several screens of extensive data entry, I came upon a page that would not let me proceed unless I agreed to let them charge me AT LEAST $300/month (yes, it says so) for a listing with compulsory advertisement. At the bottom of the page in small print there was a note that a simple listing is $19.95/month plus $1.40 per click – WHAT?? Heck, I will start clicking on my competitors right away! And I’m outa here!

  11. Nathon Hay says:

    Today I got the same problem as Roger. Here’s some more fine print from Citysearch:

    Note: There is a $19.95 monthly listing fee. Your cost-per-connection is $0.85.

  12. Matt McGee says:

    I’ve just tried to submit two separate new businesses, and neither time did I get a screen with fine print about monthly fees, etc. Are you guys sure you’re not in the “Advertise With Us” section?

  13. Alissa J says:

    I also have been trying to create a listing for a client of mine on Citysearch. I also have been sitting here for several hours and also went through City Grid Media where there is NO MENTION OF COST until AFTER I painstakingly choose all my categories and keywords, uploaded an photo, and created an ad. And yes, it is ridiculously expensive in my opinion.

    I go back to try and find how to do a free claiming/listing like you can do on Yelp.

    My client’s business was not in their database AT ALL so I used the “Add A Business” link. It allowed for basic information, one review (which I did not do) and one category selection from a very narrow non descript list.

    After hitting SUBMIT I received a message in very small text at the top of the page that read:
    “Thanks for your help in making Citysearch a little bit better. We’ll verify your changes and update this listing shortly.”

    Also vaque… how long is shortly? Compared to other listing sites Citysearch is pretty lame and I don’t think I will be including this directory in my offerings to my clients. Total waste of my time.

  14. Scott says:

    Wow… Is CitySearch even remotely relevant anymore? Who would pay $20/month for CitySearch when Yelp and Google Places are FREE???

  15. Michele Z says:

    Matt thanks for the post. Very helpful.

    Would be curious if you have any information on how many data sources the CityGrid Media database actually feeds.

    As of this posting the results for a free listing are identical to Alissa J’s post.

    After initially entering information into the CityGrid portal and finding the cost for a listing to be ridiculous I found your post and added a business to CitySearch and received the same vague message.

    I am now receiving email messages from CityGrid saying:
    We noticed that you began to enroll in our advertising program, but didn’t complete the process.

    Their motivational message is this:
    Every month, more than 140 million consumers search online for local businesses like yours – nearly 90% of them use CityGrid┬« affiliated sites. CityGrid Media can help you get found by customers in your area, when they need you most.

    Interesting message. As a marketing professional I find their marketing tactics a bit misleading. I know they have affiliations with sites like MerchantCircle but I could find no information that the CityGrid database powers the MerchantCircle database. I would be more interested in knowing how many consumers search the CityGrid owned data sources, not their affiliates. I can add a business for free to MerchantCircle and most of the rest of their ‘Affiliates’. Interesting tactics.

  16. Justin Smith says:

    As of today it is working… although you do have to register an account first. I find this step kind of silly because you can’t see any record of the fact that you added a listing when you’re logged in. Here is the updated submission url: http://www.citysearch.com/profile/add_business

  17. I just tried to submit a correction because they had me listed as out of business and found myself automatically and without warning signed up for paid advertising. Is citysearch for real or a scam

  18. How do I get off their site?

  19. How can I post my daycare so people can find it on your website?

    • Matt McGee says:

      You’ll have to go to Citysearch.com, Rebeca. This is a site called Small Business Search Marketing. I write ABOUT Citysearch at times, but it’s a different site. Good luck.

  20. Thanks a bunch for showing how to list on citysearch. They don’t exactly make it clear. You got me pointed in the right direction.

  21. Kyle says:

    I have submitted a business 3 times now and it has been over one month and it still does not appear for me to claim. This has happened to me for other businesses as well. How long does it take for Citysearch to publish a new business listing

  22. Tom says:

    Looks like it’s gone again

  23. Tony says:

    Yes, it seems to have disappeared yet again. Very disappointing.

  24. I am wanting to submit my web site to Citysearch’s free business listings but I can not locate a link. Any help ? thanks mjb

  25. Phil Rozek says:

    @Michael

    There’s actually no form to fill out; you just email them at myaccount@citygridmedia.com. You just tell them your basic info (business name, address, phone, URL, and categories), and they’ll add your listing.

    I actually did a post on this back in July (it has a little more detail):

    http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2012/07/25/how-to-add-a-free-citysearch-business-listing-temporary-solution/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *