UPDATE: Citysearch has reinstated free business listings. Please see this post for details: Citysearch Brings Back Free Business Listings, Adds Twitter.
I’ve spent the past two months trying to get an answer from Citysearch to a very simple question: Where on your web site can a small business submit a free listing? The lack of replies from two contacts associated with Citysearch, my own scouring of their web site, and the repeated inquiries I’ve had from small business owners who can’t find a way to add a free listing suggests one thing: Citysearch has killed free listings for small businesses.
There’s some history here that’s worth mentioning: Almost two years ago, I wrote a post, SBS Mailbag: Adding Your Business to Citysearch, in which I answered a reader’s question about where to find the “add a business” page on Citysearch.com. That post now ranks very highly in search engines for “add a business to citysearch” and similar terms.
Citysearch told me at that time that the “Make a Correction” form located at http://national.citysearch.com/corrections could be used to add a new business for free.
Don’t bother clicking that link now, because the page no longer exists. And as best I can tell, there’s no replacement. In several places on Citysearch.com, there are fairly visible links to an advertise with us page … but no mention of a basic, free listing. (Readers: Am I missing it?)
Citysearch might think small businesses aren’t interested in free listings at this point, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Since January 1st of this year, I’ve had referral traffic from 249 different keywords that include the “citysearch” name, and as the chart below shows, search traffic on that keyword started increasing pretty dramatically in early March and hasn’t let up.
Citysearch: There are lots of small business owners wanting to add themselves to your web site without having to buy an advertising package. How about bringing that back?