Now, I mightget shot down in flames here but I thought I'd share something I'm about to try. By sharing it now it'll hopefully keep my motivated to carry it on because you may want to know how it's going and secondly, if anyone else trys this we could all help each other out.
Install wordpress and find a nice clean theme, pastal colours and white background would be best for this as you'll want to appeal to lots of people.
Think of a type of business that there are plenty of in your area. I'm doing food places, sit down and takeaway as their qare loads in my city but others may be more successful. Go get yourself a domain name, doesn't matter about .com, etc by as I'm in the UK I've gone for a .co.uk to make it look more professional.
Use google business finder to find all of the foods places (or whatever else depending on the industry you've chosen) and copy their links into a text file or spread sheet. If you can find a good 100 - 500 then you should be ok and you can carry on. If you don't find or cannot find anywhere else, a good number of businesses then try a different industry
Install some of your favorite plugins, like SEO expert and Google XML Sitemap, etc, etc (more can be found on the forum here) and get your wordpress setup correctly. For instance I always make sure my home page is a page and not the last articles but you can decide on that as you go.
Now we want to add a post for each of the companies we've found. Make them look good, if you can find a picture of their business and even a google map of their location then use it, pictures work best. Be sure to also include a summary of them, perhaps take something from Googles description or have a look at their website first. This will be what takes the time but you want it to look good. If you find companies that do not have a website then be sure to make theirs look even better than the rest. Include all their contact deatils, names, opening hours, etc, etc as much information for someone visiting your site as possible.
The above steps should probably take you a week or 2 depending on how good a job you do. By the end of it you want a website that promotes businesses in your local area but also allows other people to leave comments on them.
Bookmark your site, get some backlinks, ultimately get indexed in google. Methods on doing this are all over the forum so I won't rehash, just go look around.
STEP 8 - OPTIONAL
I will be doing this part because I want maximum results. I would be very possible to do this project without the blackhat part but where would be the fun it that?
Go to Microworkers and employ people for a few dollars to come to your site and review the businesses. You can say in your advert, use one of the following, and give them some ideas of what to write. you can even say, please review the business with the least reviews. this will ensure a good spread. Get your friends and family to review some, do it yourself under other name, whatever you need to do to keep the pages changing and the authority of the sites from the businesses point of view.
NOTE: Be sure to make the comments spread over a period otherwise it will look as false as it is! I will be running a microworkers campaign once per week for a few weeks to keep it building up.
STEP 9 - The offline part
Once the site is a month or so old I am going to call or email (telephone will be better where I can) the business and explain to them that their busniess has been promoted on my website, a leading review site for their inductry in our area and that they appear to have had X number of hits and X comments since their business was added. I have to do a review of the site and clean a lot of the companies off doe to the size of the size and only the best businesses will be left. In order to stay on would they consider a Â£6 (I'm UK) per month subscription to keep their listing since X number of people have found them there? This should be a no brainer for and aompany of their size, especially since they will get phonecalls all days asking for Â£100's for much minor advertising with no proven results.
If I can get 100 businesses at Â£6 per month that will be Â£600 / $1000 for nothing. I'm gonna completely fake the traffic but that's up to you! A few months later you can even call back and offer a premium listing in the site, taking them to the top of their category for Â£25 per month. If you can split your businesses into 20 categories then you'll have another Â£500 / $900 on top.
After 6 months you could decide to flip the sitefor Â£6000 / $10,000 or so, or even keep it going and start with the city next to yours.
Keeping the cities local will give it more of a targeted audience as far as the business is concerned, it will also give the perception that you are more knowledgable about the area, especially if you've used these businesses yourself before.
I will keep coming back and give update on my progress, any problems I've found or experiences I've had. When I get to the telephone calls I'll even post some of my scripts and let you know what worked best.
So far I've got myself the domain name and installed wordpress with a nice premium looking theme. Back with another update when I've started adding the businesses.
This is a great Business plan except for the false hits etc. For finding local business around the world and the competition in order to get ranked quickly on GOOGLE there is a free tool called Localizer -It's web based and all you have to do is sign up and put your keywords and Location and there you have all the infos you need. The LOCALIZER INDEX WILL SHOW you the competition .If it's green it means easy ranking. Check it out here;Home | localizertool.com. I don't know how long this will be for free. Get in while it's available. Coolest tool I have come across
Bad reviews will only help the idea and should be thought of as part of the marketing strategy. There is nothing that causes businesses to take action faster than a bad review. People on Google places worked forever trying to get google to allow them to post responses to bad reviews. I would contact a business owner and tell them they got a bad review. In order to claim the business and post reply they would need to sign up. The traffic numbers all of the sudden mean twice as much in my opinion.