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Marchex Launches Content-Rich Direct-Navigation Strategy

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Marchex today launched 100,000 local and vertical Web sites, all with unique content. The sites include yellow pages listings, user-generated and expert ratings and reviews, and of course plenty of ads. The content is generated by Marchex using technology it acquired from Open List last May.

The portfolio contains sites like videocameras.com, chicagodoctors.com, newyorkdining.com, and hundreds of zip code sites, such as 90210.com. Traffic comes from users who type the URL directly into their browser, or from search engines that index these sites.

Marchex expects to expand the Open List content to more of its 200,000 direct navigation sites in coming months. It will also link all of these sites back to OpenList.com in the fall, creating a huge local search engine and ad network.

"Our portfolio of sites up until very recently was, in essence, all ads," Matthew Berk, lead search architect at Marchex and a founder of Open List, told ClickZ. With the new changes, he said, "It's walking someone through the decision process, so you can help them ask the questions they didn't necessarily know to ask up front. The Open List experience has always been about refinement."

Open List started as a travel-centric network of sites, with listings for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Marchex has expanded the categories over the last year to include more business listings in dozens of categories. Last month, Marchex partnered with Fox to develop a set of Spanish-language Web sites owned by Marchex.

Ads are served by Marchex's own Marchex Network ads, supplemented by Yahoo ads.


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