Local Directory/Portal Question

by July29 Banned
12 replies
I am launching a local directory website in my town. I searched everywhere to see if there were any online directories in this town, and couldn't find any. So I launched one.

I got a call from a guy today who was mad saying he owned an online directory for this town. He was mad i think because we called our directory "the ONLY directory" in town...

This is his site: www.CarmelBest.com It is complete crap. Possibly the worst site i've ever seen in my life. Not only is it ugly and useless, but the pages include GoDaddy ads (since the pages are hosted free) and the links to the local businesses just point to a search from Yellowbook.com

I'm offering local businesses a full page listing with pictures, video, email capture form, content, etc. - not just some link to their tiny yellowbook ad.

So my question is, can I get in trouble for saying we're the ONLY directory? Because, yes he owns that site, but it's not really a directory itself, it just links to a directory site. Or can I say the "Official directory" - or is there some legal stipulation behind coining yourself "official."

My portal is in pre-launch phase right now, but i am offering a very valuable service to my local businesses. This guy isn't. So i want to blow his site out of the water. But want to make sure i don't use any terms that are illegal or unethical. What do you think?
#directory or portal #local #question
  • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
    Truth in advertising. Knowing it is not, there is no need to get into confrontations.

    There are many other adjectives available.

    Fastest growing.
    Newest.
    Best
    Only one of it's kind serving.....
    Only directory offering video services....
    The first to offer....


    Kelvin
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    Kelvin Brown

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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    In truth you can say what you want and get away with it, many of my local competitors do. In terms of running a business, if you promise more than you can deliver, your portal will die after a year or so as advertisers refuse to renew. I have seen this happen more than once in my short time owning a local portal.

    Take it easy, deliver results for your advertisers, and pick them up one by one.

    Good luck, work hard.

    Tony

    oh, and ignore anyone who attempts to get in your way. Don't even think about them, just carry on building a useful resource.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    He must have something to lose if he is mad about it. You should study what he is doing now, and continue to develop your model. I have seen firsthand how local directories can make great money, and kudos for your efforts to get your directory going. I hope it goes well for you.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Wanna try the passive-aggressive route? Tell him he's right and change it to "the only real directory"...
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    Hehe, always fun to think of ways to argue with these people. Another challenge would be to take the unexpected response and try to be his friend.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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    • Profile picture of the author July29
      Banned
      Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

      Hehe, always fun to think of ways to argue with these people. Another challenge would be to take the unexpected response and try to be his friend.
      lol, I don't know about being his friend...it would be one thing if he offered a competitive service, but he doesn't. He called me with the attitude of "WE are the directory for this town." But then I look at his site and it's terrible and it offers absolutely no value to the business owner.

      I took offense to this, because as a business owner myself, I do not like to see business owners get taken advantage of by being convinced to spend money on crap. I take pride in delivering REAL results to my clients and it's people like him that make it so hard to sell my services to prospects who have been ripped off so many times in the past.

      I want to do whatever it takes to dominate his "directory" site and show him what's what. Maybe that's the wrong attitude to have, i don't know. But I like the passive-aggressive or aggressive-aggressive routes better!
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Since you seem to like this route, here's the next step I would take...

        Create a report around "red flags about local online advertising", spotlighting all the cheesy tricks you say this guy is using - but don't mention him by name. Contrast it with a list of best practices - all of which you follow. (You won't trumpet this in the report, but you will on your directory site.)

        Offer the report, along with giveaway rights, to the Chamber of Commerce and the local service clubs (Kiwanis, Lions, Optimist, etc.).

        Send a copy, along with a press release, to the local paper, business journal and news/talk radio and TV stations.

        If you can make the report visible in enough places, it becomes the de facto standard. And when people see that your "friend" uses all of those cheesy tricks...

        Position it as a public service, with very low-key or no personal promotion and you get the side benefit of positioning yourself as the local authority. People will seek you out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JonathanBoettcher
        Originally Posted by July29 View Post

        lol, I don't know about being his friend...it would be one thing if he offered a competitive service, but he doesn't. He called me with the attitude of "WE are the directory for this town." But then I look at his site and it's terrible and it offers absolutely no value to the business owner.

        I took offense to this, because as a business owner myself, I do not like to see business owners get taken advantage of by being convinced to spend money on crap. I take pride in delivering REAL results to my clients and it's people like him that make it so hard to sell my services to prospects who have been ripped off so many times in the past.

        I want to do whatever it takes to dominate his "directory" site and show him what's what. Maybe that's the wrong attitude to have, i don't know. But I like the passive-aggressive or aggressive-aggressive routes better!
        Ask him if there's only one gas station in town? Fast food joint? Barber shop? Newspaper?

        Is he scared of competition, or does he think he has the right to a monopoly because he's the first comer?

        Tell him if his directory is so great and yours is so bad, then he shouldn't have anything to fear from you and lay off your case. LOL.
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      • Profile picture of the author dvduval
        Originally Posted by July29 View Post

        I want to do whatever it takes to dominate his "directory" site and show him what's what. Maybe that's the wrong attitude to have, i don't know. But I like the passive-aggressive or aggressive-aggressive routes better!
        With that attitude, I'm sure you will. It's probably better to ignore him and focus your energy on your own site and its growth. Judging by what you said, it probably won't take too long to start out ranking him, and getting more traffic too.
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        It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author July29
    Banned
    Wow. John, that's superb advice. I absolutely love this idea and I'm all over it. I'm not a very good outside-the-box thinker, so thank you John and fellow warriors for doing that for me!
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  • Profile picture of the author July29
    Banned
    I don't think the problem so much is that I exist - I believe it all began because i called my directory the "only" directory in town. I used the word "only" because i researched and never found this so-called directory in existance anywhere.

    But, even after having it pointed out to me, I still believe i'm the ONLY one in town as his is terrible and doesn't offer any true value.

    Maybe i'll just start calling it the only 'preferred' or 'unrivaled' directory in town...
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    • Profile picture of the author JonathanBoettcher
      Originally Posted by July29 View Post

      I don't think the problem so much is that I exist - I believe it all began because i called my directory the "only" directory in town. I used the word "only" because i researched and never found this so-called directory in existance anywhere.

      But, even after having it pointed out to me, I still believe i'm the ONLY one in town as his is terrible and doesn't offer any true value.

      Maybe i'll just start calling it the only 'preferred' or 'unrivaled' directory in town...
      Well his PR is 0 and Alexa is pretty terrible too... I can't imagine that many other people know about him, so I wouldn't blame you for your ignorance .
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