Merchant Circle just launched a City “Mayor” program designed to promote the most connected SMBs in a service area on the site.  As Greg Sterling, he of the newly redesigned Screenwerk blog, put it:

Because MerchantCircle gets so much traffic from SEO in search results this will also be a major SEO play for the SMB that is the mayor of his/her particular city.

Merchant Circle has long been a favorite of mine and other local marketers for its ability to rank profile pages for a variety of local queries.  Using the Barnacle SEO technique (so coined by Will Scott of SearchInfluence), pages on Merchant Circle and similar directory sites can drive a lot of free leads if you know how to use them.

I like the SMB gaming element here because to date the problem a lot of local directories have is with attracting advertisers and once attracted, getting them to engage with the service.  By giving the merchant an incentive to network, Merchant Circle has the chance to get their hardcore users to do a lot of the heavy lifting for them.  Seems like it could be a win-win scenario.

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4 Response Comments

  • Craig Mullins  June 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Woo hoo, I’m a mayor! 🙂

  • Hans  June 25, 2010 at 2:30 am

    I don’t understand the sentence of getting more traffic from SEO. You should be more specific , you can do no SEO and still get plenty of traffic.

  • Austin Texas Notary Public  September 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    As one of the most connected business in the nation on MerchantCircle and the MerchantCiecle Mayor of Austin, TX I can say the SEO linking and pure traffic from being on EVERY businesses profile page is pretty sweet! 😀

  • Ipin  December 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    seo tipss waaw nice info..