Network Solutions: Back to the Future?

Network Solutions has introduced a recurring revenue product that sounds very much like those that were widely promoted in the late 1990s — directory and search engine “submission” — but which fell into disfavor because they really did nothing for local businesses.

Here’s the release and the key blurbs:

The Network Solutions’ Local Search Visibility offering includes local directory submission to more than 130 directories, including Google® Maps submission, submission, Yahoo® Local submission, MSN® Local submission, and submission to In addition, the company’s website will be submitted to major search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

One of the most important aspects of the local directory submission service is the business profile that will appear in local directories and Network Solutions’ own, featuring a business description, list of products and offerings, keywords, payment options, and hours of operation. This business profile can be easily updated.

The notion of a single point of entry for SMB data is desirable and has been discussed here many times. The question is: is this a meaningful/valuable offering — or just something that sounds that way?

7 Responses to “Network Solutions: Back to the Future?”

  1. Mel Says:

    Sounds too simplistic to be worth a $20 setup fee and $40 per month. $480 a year for a business profile?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree. Doesn’t sound worth the money.

  3. Tim Cohn Says:

    They have been offering variations of this all along but now appear to be adding lipstick.

  4. Mike Martino Says:

    Most of these directory submission services promise very little in terms of your actual submission. Small businesses wind up with multiple listings, some old and incorrect, some directories only take part of the data submitted by the service because they feel they get better information from another source.

    The key disconnect is in matching your information to the current listing in the receiving online business directories. Most of the directories take feeds and then employ some kind of matching algorithm. These algorithms are built ground up by the in-house tech staff. They vary in quality. How much time will they give their crew to write code that can match “12 5th Street N” to “Twelve 5th St North”? Or, “Bob’s Tavern” to “Bob’s”?

    Some base themselves on only having a single business for an address, which fails with the Subway in the gas station, or the independent ProShop in the bowling alley. Phone matches don’t work when you have the automotive chain service center submitting its oil & lube services to the directory that only currently has the phone number for the new car sales department.

    There’s a need for these “directory submission” companies to find a base-line identifier for the businesses. A kind of unique serial number , like Acxiom and Experian use internally, might be a starting point. Or possibly a tax id with some sort of physical location indicator for multiple address companies.

    Until then, there’s still room for local internet marketing consultants to charge to hand-fix and maintain a client’s listings on a handful of the top business directories, or IYPs, that cover the top 80% of business directory searches. Or, in this economy, offer to do it for free and get in the door with the client.

  5. Steve Cissel Says:

    I like the idea of having a business listing ID.

    This structure just might be the AhHa moment for the SMB’s to get involved.

    This arrangement would benefit all players.

    It would allow the vertical specialists to syndicate product/brand/content information to the horizontal directories whenever the business listing is published (in real time).

    SMB’s win.
    Horizontal’s win.
    Verticals win.

    This scenario is inevitable.

  6. Chris Travers Says:

    FYI, when we do this at (for $30 a year), we provide the infoUSA IUSA number that is already being used by the search sites to connect listings with review data, for example. For this to work better we all would need to know more about how the sites make use of this. As for the Network Solutions service, we find transparency is really important here and neutrality – businesses want to be certain they are not just getting into the main search sites and a bunch of smaller websites, they want to know details of 411 Directory Assistance, GPS navigation, Mobile and much more.

  7. What is the advantage, if any of purchasing a domain name form Network Solutions vs. the cheaper ones? | Says:

    […] Network Solutions: Back to a Future? « Screenwerk […]

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