What Happened To CitySearch’s Business?

May 9th, 2013

Today Greg Sterling asked What’s Going On At CityGrid?:

“Here’s my paraphrase of some of the things I was told:

  • CityGrid and Citysearch are struggling (to retain and deliver value to advertisers)
  • Citysearch was characterized to me as having lost so much momentum that it was effectively “dead”
  • CityGrid and associated properties (InsiderPages, Citysearch, Urbanspoon) are being reorganized, with an announcement to come soon
  • I was also told that IAC had tried unsuccessfully to sell CityGrid (possibly Citysearch as well) but that didn’t happen

This is hearsay so be cautious. But most of these comments had the ring of truth.”

So I took a look at the SearchMetrics SEO Ranking for CitySearch and it’s pretty clear what happened, at least it’s pretty clear what happened to CitySearch.com:

CitySearch SEO Ranking



BTW, if someone at CityGrid is interested in unloading InsiderPages, give me a buzz.

Tags: CitySearch

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel Lhanie

    Hi Andrew,

    It’s not too surprising to see CitySearch’s traffic get cut in half. CitySearch was a great directory many years ago but over the years it has really proven to provide no real value to users or businesses.

    I think this is a result of having a spammy review system. Yelp really crushed CitySearch with their reliable review system. I remember adding hundreds of reviews for one of my clients within a month. It’s easily manipulated and users catch on quickly.

    I still think CitySearch has a chance to regain itself as a premier local directory if they focus on the quality of their data and user generated content. Sad to see a chart like that so hopefully they do something about it.

    Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

  • 2 Leonardo Wood

    #panda – ouch!!

    Do you think the days are numbered for Yell.com?

  • 3 Justin Sous

    Does it have anything to do with Google’s fear of vertical search taking market share, or do you have an insight as to it really being a result of Panda?

  • 4 Andrew Shotland

    I haven’t done an audit of their site, but I doubt Google just singled them out and tanked them.

  • 5 Andrew Shotland

    Not necessarily. Local directory SEO has gotten harder over the past few years for two main reasons:

    1. Google and others have coopted a lot of the directories’ functionality and made it a feature of a larger service such as Web search, obviating the need for pure local directories
    2. Most local directories don’t do anything to add the additional value that makes them worth ranking

    So Yell and others need to figure out how to be more than just a feature that is easily copied.

  • 6 Chris

    Interesting..too much to say, buttoning my lip for once.

    Any business that fails to deliver value & service will shrivel up & die.

    Ok now I’ll shut up.

  • 7 Gene Erwin

    I still have a bad taste in my mouth for city grid. I did a pay per click with them for the keyword piano lessons and they switched the keyword on me to music lessons which is not targeted for the local business I was promoting. I got a big bill with no results for the keyword I was targeting. In another words, they totally ripped me off.

  • 8 Darrel

    maybe if they would bring back the free listing option they used to have it would help with traffic.

  • 9 Art Richards

    I tried to sign up to provide citygrid and citysearch a few months ago, have heard nothing from them whatsoever even after several followup emails. Now it makes sense.

  • 10 Justin Simmons

    on Wednesday 6/26 Citysearch was dealt the final blow. There was another very big(massive) layoff that affected most of CityGrid and Citysearch. There are only 4 engineers left keeping Citysearch on “maintenance mode”. Sounds like in the ballpark of about 100 people were let go all around. if Citysearch wasn’t dead before, it sure is now.

  • 11 jake turner

    YELP’s “reliable review system”….THANKS FOR THE LAUGH!!!!!

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