What is your approach when building an online presence and reputation of an offline business online? I would also include obvious destinations as Mantra, Facebook and LinkedIn feel free to add tips in the thread. The following websites are optimal for building an online reputation; 1. Google Places for Business Formerly known as Google Local, Google Places allows businesses to register themselves with Google, at which point they?ll be listed on Google Maps as well as show up in Google search results with extended information and data available at a glance. After signing up for the free service, simply describe your business with location information, a listing of services, hours of operation and a link to your business website. Once listed, users will be able to leave reviews for your business directly on your Google Places page. In May 2012, Google incorporated Google+ Local listings into Google Places. Google+ Local uses Zagat summaries of user reviews to assign a business a Zagat score. If you let Google find your business first, you?ll be rewarded with better placement on the map. Much like Google would rather find your website on its own through links rather than search engine submission, Google Maps will trust and more than likely post reviews from other review sites before submitting or modifying your listing. Often, the Google Places bot will scour the Internet for other reviews sites already touting your company?s offerings and experiences, so start building profiles on other review sites first to begin compiling a healthy portfolio of reviews. Reviews are an absolutely essential factor in achieving top placement in the alphanumeric listing of the Google Places/Google Map Listings, so long as your reviews are genuine ? fake reviews are quickly recognized, and can not only hurt your listing position, but your reputation. A business name containing keywords and a complete Google Places profile also helps. 2. Yelp! Since it was founded in 2004 to connect residents of San Francisco to local businesses, Yelp! has taken off and become a household name across the world. With 71 million unique monthly visitors in the first quarter of 2012 alone, the Yelp! community has exploded into a full-fledged social community, complete with the ability to add friends, earn community reputations, a robust commenting system, and picture profiles. Because of it?s marked popularity ? with over 27 million reviews posted as of March 2012 ? Yelp! reviews rank well with search engines, and are generally seen as reputable and trustworthy thanks to an algorithm implemented in 2006 that, while not necessarily perfect, helps to curb fake reviews. To gain control of your profile, first check to see if your business is already listed; if so, then you must ?claim? the listing with phone call verification.â€¨http://www.yelp.com/ 3. Yahoo! Local Listings Yahoo! Local Listings are similar in format to Google Places. Complete with a map and full landing page, Yahoo! Local listings rank above organic search results and below the top three pay-per-click listings. Promote your Yahoo! Local Listing by treating it like it?s one of the family ? get reviews, flesh out the profile, add business information. Although Yahoo! currently only gets about 13.5% of the search engine share, that?s still represents a significant number of potential visitors to present your business? listings to. Get your 4. Citysearch While not as popular as it once was, this business review site has been around for many years. Citysearch was founded back in 1995, and for many years was fueled by staff reviews of local venues. Today, however, they have adopted a format very similar to that of Yelp!, showing user-posted reviews. They also boast a ?Best of Citysearch? competition, allowing local users to vote for their favorite businesses in various categories to a quest to win their favorite places the crown. Most importantly, Citysearch listings tend to show up well in search engine rankings. 5. MerchantCircle MerchantCircle, founded in 2005, has been infiltrating search listings and growing ever since. Originally designed as solely a user review site, MerchantCircle now sets itself apart from the rest of the review sites by touting the availability of deals and coupons available from merchants. In February 2012, MerchantCircle announced over 15 million monthly visits and 1.2 million active registered merchant users. 6. Insider Pages Insider Pages is another online ?local search? service operated by IAC/InterActiveCorp, owners of CitySearch. Before its acquisition by IAC the company was based in Redwood Shores, California, and had over 600,000 reviews of local merchants around the country. Today, they claim ?millions? of monthly users. Better yet, Google Maps definitely picks it up. 7. Angie?s List Angie?s List was founded in 1995 in the form of a hard-copy publication that solicited user recommendations for local businesses in Columbus, Ohio. The database moved to the Internet in 1999, and has since become a dominant force in local user review websites. Unlike other business review sites, however, Angie?s List charges a membership fee for users to read and post reviews, though listings are free for companies. Even with a fee, Angie?s List claims over 1 million members, with over 40,000 reviews posted each month.