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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 24, 2010 at 11:12 AM

WhitePages upgrades business search, adds “store finder”

Seattle online directory service WhitePages.com unveiled a big upgrade to its business search today, aiming to offer simplified search results for people looking for nearby businesses and stores.

The company’s drawing on a database of 15 million business directory listings and 1 million store locations in the U.S. It’s also adding social features for sharing business listings by email or text messages, and the ability to directly save them to Outlook.

It also begins the searches with a guess about the searcher’s location based on IP address, so my search for “Starbucks stores” showed 118 nearby in the downtown Seattle area. A similar Google search returned the location of a Starbucks in North Bend.

A Starbucks store search at WhitePages.com:

whitepages-sbx.jpg

A similar search at Google:

WhitePages may the easiest option for some business searches, if you’re just looking for the phone number or address of a particular business, for instance. But it’s a pretty dynamic space, with Google, Bing and others are putting more effort into local business services.

Even WhitePages’ business search is evolving. When I did a search for “Seattle Times,” the site and accompanying Bing map said the company’s in the location of a defunct newspaper along Elliott Way. It actually provided 14 listings for the Times, none of which was shown at its actual location:

whitepages-stimes.jpg

Comments | Topics: Bing, business search, Google

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