Tribune helping find what you need

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ten years ago nobody knew what a “Google” was or meant. Today it has become engrained into our language and our everyday life, changing how millions of people search for information.

And just as unusual as the word actually sounds, it is also somewhat unique in that it can be almost any part of speech.

Noun: “Google helps you find a car dealer close to home.”

Verb: “I don’t know how to get there. I’ll just Google it.”

Adjective: “You can do a Google search to find almost anything.”

Adverb: “Joe Google searched for a local restaurant.”

The reality is that Google and the other Internet search engines like it — Yahoo!, Bing, AltaVista, Dogpile, Lycos — have become integral to our lives. The fact that so many people use mobile devices to access the Internet just adds to the rapidly growing trend.

Basically, these tools have become the Yellow Pages of the 21st century.

This trend will only continue.

A national study conducted by TMP Directional Marketing last year showed that 61 percent of respondents used some form of online search engine to find information about local businesses. This compared to only 30 percent using the print version of the Yellow Pages or other phone book.

A primary function of the newspaper has always been to connect consumers with the goods or service providers that they seek. That goal hasn’t changed and we must continue to find better ways of serving those businesses and consumers.

To that end, The Tribune has added a “Find It” business directory to its Web sites. Sharp-eyed browsers may have already seen the listing towards the bottom of our home page.

This is essentially an online directory of goods and services in the Tri-State.

Need to find someone to work on your car? No problem. Just do a quick search. Looking for a restaurant? We’ve got you covered. Dozens of categories can link consumers with what they need.

What makes it even more valuable for businesses is that those aforementioned Google searches or other searches will lead consumers to The Tribune’s directory as well, making this a one-stop source for information that can include phone numbers, addresses, directions, store hours, customer reviews and more.

So we are walking potential customers to businesses’ doorsteps and it isn’t costing them a penny.

Of course we hope these same businesses do take advantage of the full opportunities to upgrade their listing for a small fee in order to stand out from everyone else.

Next to every business is a link to “enhance listing.”

That allows businesses to provide information that they would like to see included and provides our sales representative the information needed to contact them about becoming a featured listing that includes dominant placement, multiple photos, video, logos and much more.

Don’t see your company listed where you think it should be? Just click “enhance listing” next to any business and provide your information.

So whether you are Googling, Binging, Yahooing or anything else, just remember that The Tribune is always the best way to find what you need.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.