Dialing Google

You can now pick up the phone and call google toll free for information and have the search category results read to you over the phone by an automated voice prompt system. After specifying a city and a state, you'll need to ask for either a category or a company name. Google then reads all listings to you....next if you select a result by number (either by saying it or pressing the appropriate key) you can then request "details" for specific listing info, following this you're read the phone number and if you remain on the line, you're connected to this business free of charge!

Try the system out by calling 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411).

If you've called 411 from your cell phone lately, I think you'll agree that a Free 411 service is going to be very popular , and such a service powered by Google is going to really be a boom to those in Google's Local Index (Google Maps).

All results that Google Free 411 is reading you come from Google Maps results (aka Google Local). If you're not in the results, you can be....FREE. Just go to the CruiseOne/Cruises Inc Business Center and from there select Marketing > ECommerce > Advertising > Free Listings > Google Local Business Center. Complete the required profile info, verify your location (by responding to a post card Google mails you), and you'll find that your listing should go up in a manner of a few weeks. Once your listing is up at Google Maps for your area, if you're in the top 8 results for your city, you'll be found on the Google Free 411 listings.

Please keep in mind that this is a new program from Google and they're clearly still working out some kinks. One error I ran into was that - I've been read result sets in an endless loop. I had other errors, but at the end of the day, if it's free I'm a pretty forgiving customer.

If you're not finding yourself in the top 8 results, here's a few things that may help you move on up in the local search results for your city :
  • Make sure you have your actual web address in your profile. (format must be exactly as it appears in the address bar ie : http://jdoe.cruiseone.com/travel/cruises/index.do) This insures that Google will spider your site and see your local address info and find you a valid and relevant listing.
  • Positive Reviews - clients who rate you positively will give your listing greater visibility...don't just have them just post reviews to Google, try Yahoo and even other review websites like judysbook.com
  • If you've not already done so, make sure you create other free local listings with Yahoo, Yellowpages.com. Superpages and JudysBook.com

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