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October 11, 2007

Give Local Search Marketing a Shout Out with PlaceShout

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Finally! A use for Twitter-like technology!

It’s a great time to be a small business owner. Matt McGee is over at Search Engine Land issuing the second installment of his Which Google Products Should A Small Business Use series and last night Keri Morgret was kind enough to open my eyes to a brand new resource for local search marketers to take advantage of.

The resource is a simple application called PlaceShout where your customers can stop by and give a quick 100 word shout out (or a huzzah, if you will) about how awesome your local business is. Once your business has been added to the embedded Google map, other users can come by and then rate your review up or down. Given Netizen’s recent report that 78 percent of their respondents said they trust recommendations from other consumers, this is some pretty powerful stuff.

I realize there are plenty of sites that let users stop by and give their opinion of local businesses, but this one is different because the succinctness of the reviews make them actually useful. Look:

Now you don’t have to read through a 700 word thesis on how this guy went to that one breakfast restaurant and his eggs were runny and then the waitress spilled the coffee all over his lap and then they were slow to get the check and he wasted 90 minutes there when all he wanted was a quick breakfast. Instead, PlaceShout encourages this poor, put upon soul to express his grief in a few lines and then get out of your hair. You don’t need to know his life story; the only information you need is that you should avoid this place at all costs unless you like bad food, bad service and coffee in your lap. See, way shorter and way more useful.

If you’re not in the mood to review and are instead just looking for a cool new place to check out, PlaceShout makes that easy too. You can scan through the list of visible shout outs, browse by category, view the newest or hottest places, or hear about what the loudest users are saying.


And if you see that you and another user seem to have similar tastes, you can also check out their profile and scope out the stuff they’re recommending.


The look and feel of PlaceShout is very reminiscent of Twitter, where users are asked to speak their mind in only a few characters. The only difference is that PlaceShout has an actual purpose. (Yes, I did just go there.) The goal behind PlaceShout is to help searchers find new local business they might be interested in, while also giving local business owners a great way to increase visibility and generate some good word of mouth.

Right now the number of available cities to add your shout to is somewhat limited, but I still think this presents a valuable opportunities for local search marketing. If only because it would be so easy for someone to scoop up this little company and turn it into something amazing.

Imagine if users could click straight through the embedded Google Map listing and be taken directly to the local site?


Imagine if there was a mobile version so that when my growling tummy and I are on the go and in need of a scrumptious burrito, we can find one ASAP?

Even in its current form, there are so many possibilities here for those interested in local search marketing.

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7 responses to “Give Local Search Marketing a Shout Out with PlaceShout”

  1. Erika writes:

    Hey Lisa,

    I work for Nielsen, and thanks for citing our source on the Word-of-Mouth study. Have you seen our social networking site for TV Junkies (entertainment in general)? Its called http://www.HeyNielsen.com. You should check it out and let me know what you think.

    I am familiar with you, and you probably with me and you don’t know it. I know Tamar from when we worked together at 10e20; she’s your best friend right! lol! Anyway, email me one day and maybe we can stay connected.

    My comment for this post relates to why you did not post a link to the PlaceShout site. Do you think it will succeed? Do you think it is better than Google Maps rating system, which is, in my opinion, often fabricated by Marketers, or the owner and their web savvy family members. Do you think this will happen on PlaceShout?

  2. Lisa writes:

    Hi Erica,
    Thanks for stopping by, and yes, your former coworker Tamar is my BFF. ;)
    To answers your questions:
    1. Not linking to PlaceShout was a total oversight. I’ll go ahead and fix that ASAP. I absolutely meant to link.
    2. I hope that it succeeds. I really like the concept of the site and I think they’re being smart about the way they allow reviews to come in and the form that they take.
    3. I don’t think it’ll overtake Google’s own rating system, only because I think common searchers will give Google’s ratings more weight since they’re branded. I’d love to see Google acquire this site and maybe build off/expand it though. That’d be great.
    Oh, and I haven’t seen your social networking site yet. I’ll have to go and check it out! :)

  3. Mark writes:

    Now, if they could only make Place Shout actually work it might turn into something.

    Spent a frustrating 10 minutes trying to add a City and a comment only to be kept informed that the place didn’t exist. Funny thing was the Google map at the side was showing me exactly the place I was referring to.

    There was no help section or information to tell me what I was doing wrong. Do I left in disgust.

  4. Lisa writes:

    You may want to give it another shot?
    I had no trouble adding a city and restaurant last night. In fact, the restaurant I went to add is a chain and it actually listed several in the same vicinity and asked which one I was reviewing. It was quite impressive.
    Here’s hoping you just caught the site at a fickle moment…

  5. David Mihm writes:

    Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for calling this one to my attention — it’s amazing how many players are TRYING to do something unique in local & I think we’ve finally found one :)

  6. Andre Lewis writes:

    Andre Lewis of PlaceShout here. Lisa, thanks the writeup.
    @Mark, can you let me know what city and place you were trying to add? Our source for local data isn’t perfect, and I’d like to know where it’s slipping up. Also, if the place doesn’t turn up, PlaceShout lets enter the name and address manually as well.
    BTW we’ve got some exciting developments coming up with PlaceShout so stay tuned.

  7. Simonn writes:

    Great post, but its a bit long and most people like short and sweet posts!



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