V16 just went live with a whole bunch of improvements (Google Street View, SEO, and more…), here’s your rundown on the changes and what it means to you.
Latest updates in Brownbook, launched last week in Version 15 include:
- Provision of the mechanism to allow large publishers to (pretty much) instantly implement their own web2.0 classified business directory, or to augment their existing directory with Brownbook’s (co-branded) enhanced customizable business pages. We’re rolling this out with one UK publisher right now, enhancing an existing ‘display’ type product with pages that accept video, images, widgets, and customizable layouts, and giving them a significant new revenue stream on their existing classified website.
- We’ve also been rebuilding the main site map and mobile sitemap as part of continued SEO work that helps search engines drive deep to our business’s listing pages – good news for any business that’s listed in Brownbook
- Removed NOFOLLOW on links to businesses websites, further enhancing the SEO benefits of having your business listed in Brownbook (thanks to a member for that suggestion – don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner)
- Added a function that uses the Twitter API to tweet when new updates, reviews and additions get made; it tweets to the twitter account here: www.twitter.com/brownbookupdate
- We’ve opened up our data even more, and now allow other sites to re-use Brownbook reviews, by adding support for hReviews (Microformats – www.microformats.org). Some of you may know we’ve supported the other microformats for about 6 months, this was one we only just got round to.
- New fields added in Business Pages for your BLOG and TWITTER name. This means you can now add these to your listing helping you to engage closely with new customers
- OH, and I almost forgot, NEW SERVERS :). Over the last 2 months or so we’ve started to see slower response times, obviously we’re continually looking for ways to optimise code, but as they say in the motor tuning trade “there’s no substitute for cubic inches”, or in our case Gigahertz and Megabytes. We’re now up around 650,000 monthly visitors so it’s starting to get serious, so we just slotted in another webserver and a load balancer up front.
We’re about half way into our development Sprint 16, so expect news next week of more improvements.
Following our recent members’ survey, I’m pleased to report that I was snowed under with responses. What amazed me was how much time some people had taken to offer their feedback and input, all REALLY useful stuff, and I deeply thank all those who got back to me. Over the next few months we’ll be implementing many of the changes and suggestions made.
There can, however, only be one winner of the iPod Touch, and I’m pleased to announce that the winner is Benedict Walmisley, of Wimborne Dorset, UK. His iPod went off to him on Friday last week, I’m hoping he’ll send us a photo of him (hopefully smiling) with it in hand :).
(His Brownbook business listing is here, go take a look – see how he’s tagged it with relevant tags to help his listing get found on Google and other search engines – and check out his website (The Little Green Nursery) if you’re into gardening in Dorset)
A good friend of mine sent me this image this morning…
Its always interesting to see which sites people compare Brownbook to. In this case trustedplaces.com and touchlocal.com. It shows Brownbooks rapid convergence with two very established online directories. Great news for all the small businesses that are marketing themselves in Brownbook.
I definitely see Brownbook as one place that all businesses anywhere in the World should add themselves, why not, its free and can be done instantly… Years ago, getting a web site was the goal, now getting traffic is the priority. Brownbook is an easy way for businesses to improve their chances of being found online; improve their SEO, and present a unique face to customers by customizing their listing, adding photos, videos, widgets…
Our goal is to be the Wikipedia of the directories world, that’s why we have 27 million businesses listed today, that’s why we are live in 230 countries right now… this is why the answer to ‘who are your competitors?’ becomes a little imprecise.