Article: Google, Bing & Yahoo in Partnership to Sell Top Organic Local Listings

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Google, Bing & Yahoo in Partnership to Sell Top Organic Local Listings
http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2142794/Google-Bing-Yahoo-in-Partnership-to-Sell-Top-Organic-Local-Listings

Google, Bing & Yahoo in Partnership to Sell Top Organic Local Listings
searchenginewatch.com | by Miranda Miller
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Google, Bing & Yahoo in Partnership to Sell Top Organic Local Listings?

by Miranda Miller, January 31, 2012
A new service offered by Bruce Clay Inc. called Local Paid Inclusion should raise a few eyebrows in the search marketing community – if there’s any truth to it, that is. Officially in alpha, according to backend partner Universal Business Listings, the LPI program will offer top organic rankings in local listings for a fee, sources told Search Engine Watch.

UBL’s Doyal Bryant told SEW in a phone interview that the service is on hold, at the very least until next week, while the organizations test and troubleshoot.

However, both Google and Bing strongly deny any such program is in development.

“We are not working on any program that enables a site to pay to increase ranking in organic search results,” according to a Google spokesperson.

Bing also denied taking part in such a program.

“Bing is not working on the Local Paid Inclusion program and would not consider giving preferential treatment to advertisers in organic search results,” according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

Now UBL is also denying any involvement:

Universal Business Listing denies any association with articles and news reports about a “paid inclusion” business listing service. The company has made no such announcements or claims, particularly in regards to Google. It has no product announcements pending.

Bruce Clay Inc is a reseller of UBL’s existing business listing syndication service and is not currently testing any new service from our company.

One program partner explained to Search Engine Watch how it will work:

“Using Google as an example, a local business in the ‘organic places’ area can pay a small monthly fee and this program moves them to the top area of the Places results. So essentially, it creates a premium section at the top of the Places results that never before existed, and a local business can pay a fee to appear in that area. As a result, whenever Places appears on the first page of Google results, and you are in the Local Paid Inclusion program, you should appear in that area of the first page of Google results.”

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