Is there a place on the Internet beyond Google? Facebook, having recently signed up their billionth user, is making a run at them, but Google is still numero uno for page visits around the globe. Google claims that if you add up all the services they provide (YouTube, Gmail, Google News, etc.) they have way more than a billion users. Of course, they still dominate search. In both in numbers and revenue, they win, and the numbers for each are increasing every day, week and year. So to forthrightly answer the question I posed in the first place, well, no. But is that the right question? A better question might be:
How do you compete?
Asking how many websites there are is like asking how many human beings there are. New websites are proliferating, and the big sites have time, resources and expertise on their side. So how do you compete? Think local.
There’s search, and then there is local search.
Most users know that if you type a town or neighborhood or even a zip code into a search for a type of business on a computer, or if you search on a smart phone, Google will take you to a Google Map (as long as you don’t have an iPhone 5) to show you what businesses are in your area. If you’re selling engagement rings in Peoria to someone who wants to look at and try on what they might buy, you don’t have to beat Tiffany’s, just the other local jewelers.
So how do you win in local search? A good first step is to claim all your business profiles on the web. There are many business directories – you must claim you’re your spot with the biggies, like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Angie’s List to get started. But the more you add and optimize, the higher your business will show. Add your business profile to as many local business directories as you can, like the Chamber of Commerce, Citysearch, ThinkLocal and Zipweb (I could go on and on) and Google will move you ever closer to that coveted “A” listing on the local search map. Start claiming your rightful place in local search results today.