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Business Directory Websites and Search Engine Technologies

You want to start a business, but you’re afraid that you’re not qualified to do so in a social context kind of way. That is to say, you didn’t attend a top notch business school, and so don’t have very many friends that have done well as an entrepreneur.

If this is your position, then the first place to start to resolve this is to figure out what the ideal position would be. Would you like to have made friends in college that were majoring in accounting, in management, or are you looking for a particular kind of business expertise?—perhaps a computer science major with an aptitude for enterprise-class software.

Once you have that ideal and vision up, then things start to untangle a bit easier. You can, for instance, check out a number of the business directories that are available on the internet.

A business directory is more than a mere listing of businesses, associations, and organizations. Think of a business directory as a search engine—a search engine that only understands business terms and contexts.

So when you go to enter a search string-command in the textbox of a business directory website, that engine will understand “+social media -marketing” as: “Get me a list of businesses and organizations that are related to social media as a business and for-profit software/technology, but not within the context of marketing.” At least, that’s what a good search engine would understand this as.

And with that example, you could see how immediately useful it would be to have a search engine (i.e. directory) that is segregated away from your everyday, general purpose search engine: you don’t want any non-business related stuff getting in there.

Many directories still fall short.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a directory out there—yet—that has actually fulfilled the ideal and vision of what a good website of this kind should do. When we search for “social media” in a general purpose search engine we get all kinds of explanations and definitions of what social media is.

When we run the same search on a business engine, yes, related business terms, concepts, organizations, etc. do come up, but more often than not, results are satisfactory for many users.

Going forward, directories will definitely get better. But general purpose search engines will definitely find a way to take back some of those searches, coming up with ways for users of their own engines to specifically produce only business related terms without having to explicitly attach the search string with a word like “business” or “industry”. (We’re already seeing such innovations among a number of the more popular search engines today.)

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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