Service area now live on the mapping

We have been asked many times to enable a ‘service area’ on the business details page.

Its now live, take a look at these examples:

The ‘service area’ is useful for businesses to show the area in which they operate. The way to do this is to simply make the address such that Google can determine an area rather than an address point.

Please do remember to also use the ‘location tags’ to describe the area as well, as quite often these are not the same as a known Google mappable area and can include colloquial names for an area.

Thats better… thank you!

Thank you for all your help. We owe you a big big thank you for supporting

One of the pains of moving the whole of Brownbook to new systems last week was that we had some teething troubles… 40 million listings, millions of registered users…. We always new it was going to be challenging which is why we kept putting it off over the last few years. Its only when you consider the processing of hundreds of listings a second and do the maths you realise that its days of processing (even with the fastest of infrastructure and multi / hyperthreading…) to transfer Brownbook to a new modern infrastructure and code base.

So we fixed the password reset issues, the listing issues, the email confirmation issues and we are very nearly there. We have just a few small bugs to solve and the ‘search’ needs to finish indexing, then we can get on to the more exciting functions that you have been asking for.

Time for a update…

We started in May 2008 and since then we have been working on the same PHP code, on a home-grown framework, using Sphinx search on AWS, with great success.

Now its time for a change… we are deep in to development of Brownbook version 2, which we are hoping to have live within the next 8 weeks. This will give us all an improved experience as it uses Laravel Vapor serverless deployment,  React Material design and some of the new AWS services. The improvements we will see include:

  • a maintainable code base so we can quickly release improvements
  • much improved SEO
  • faster more accurate searching
  • faster more reliable api usage
  • new interface that is quick and intuitive

For our API customers, we will be using the same api calls so there will be no need for you to make any changes.

For our users, we will use the same username and login service so you will not have to re-register.

We are looking forward to sharing more information very shortly.

Brownbook and team up for a great offer to businesses!

I’m thrilled to announce that Brownbook and have teamed up to offer all small business a free Digital Health Check, and a £50 voucher to spend on any services.

For every business listing on Brownbook, the team at is offering a FREE Digital Health Check PLUS a £50 voucher to spend on services. offers website Health Checks that identify any key issues that could be affecting the ranking or performance of your website across the web (not only on and provide vital information about the optimisation of your website. The team offers a friendly, no obligation consultation to determine any improvements that can be made to help to make your website work harder for you!

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Brownbook to offer free Digital Health checks to their local business customers,” says Alastair Thornton, UK Country Manager of “We are finding more and more local businesses needing help with the complex world of local online marketing, and by working with Brownbook we are able to provide a quick and easy solution, plus discounts on key services for those businesses who take up the offer.”

Brownbook and will start rolling out the service in August and September 2016, with the free consultations for a select group of Brownbook business customers, before a widespread general roll-out later in the year.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to make your website work harder for you!!!


It was about time… this week the team completed the facelift of Brownbook, the first in 8 years. Times have moved on and we have been desperate to do the work for a few years, but simply did not have the time.

We have also had the opportunity to correct broken links and really do a spring clean on the whole site. Great news.

Publisher API

If you are an agency, SEO specialist, or a local search listing optimizer, it can be laborious and costly to add listings manually to Brownbook. We have a Publisher API that can help you reduce the time, cost, error rate and administrative overhead of adding and maintaining thousands of listings on – The Global Business Listing Database.

Using our Publisher API you can search, insert, edit, and delete listings in volume. There are 5 simple steps:

1. Review the API documentation here:
2. Download and sign the API Agreement (agreeing to pay US $0.10 per listing per month) here: Brownbook data publication agreement 220416
3. Scan and email the signed API Agreement to: for the attention of Marc or David
4. We will give you an Oauth key / token
5. You code to the live API

AWS Migration Update 2

Update: We rehearsed the full migration this week, and hit a few minor issues, thankfully nothing scary, so work continues to get this fully done. Our plan now incorporates some staged migration of different elements of the system over the next week or so, and we’ll let you know here how it gets on. Thats all for now 🙂

AWS Migration Update

A quick update on the migration: We’re shooting for a full move to AWS on May 3rd.  If you’re a partner Publisher using our Local Listing Publisher API we’ll reach out to you direct to update you on the plan and progress.