When Marchex added its OpenList technology to its 100,000 local and vertical sites in June, it marked the beginning of a process to turn a localized domain portfolio into a network of local sites. Today, it launched the hub of that network at OpenList.com, and expanded the network to 150,000 sites.
The OpenList network is made up of sites that are both local and vertical, such as NewYorkDoctors.com, TopekaDining.com, or IndianapolisAutoRepair.com. The sites are filled with local business information from Localeze, as well as reviews and other data crawled by OpenList, as well as content from partners, including the newly added OpenTable, Contractors.com, HealthGrades, and Judy’s Book. Much of the content currently centers around restaurants and hotels, which were the first niches OpenList focused on when it started four years ago.
The OpenList technology allows users to search the site, or browse by categories. They can then drill down to filter results by several other factors, such as business type, cuisine of a restaurant, price level, rating level, or other features. Results are displayed on a Yahoo-powered map
Users can search from OpenList.com, or from one of the many local domains, which are powered by OpenList. Marchex displays contextual text ads it sells itself, backfilled by ads from Yahoo. Much of the traffic is currently driven by direct navigation to the local sites, but an increasing amount comes from search engines that index those pages. This is expected to increase as the sites are filled with more local content.