Citysearch

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Citysearch
Type Subsidiary
Industry Internet Local Search,
Advertising
Founded La Crescenta, California, U.S. (1995)
Headquarters 8833 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Area served United States
Key people Jason Finger, President
Products Citysearch.com,
Pay For Performance Advertising
Parent IAC/InterActiveCorp
Website citysearch.com

Citysearch is an online city guide that provides information about businesses in the categories of dining, entertainment, retail, travel, and professional services in cities throughout the United States. Visitors to each of Citysearch's local city guides will find contact information, maps, driving directions, editorial, and user reviews for the businesses listed. Citysearch is headquartered in West Hollywood, California and is an owned and operated web site of CityGrid Media, which is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQIACI).[1][2] Original office was in Pasadena, California.

Citysearch was founded in September 1995 by Jeffrey Brewer, Caskey Dickson, Brad Haaugard, Taylor Wescoatt, and Tamar Halpern. Charles Conn was then recruited to lead the new company. The idea, initiative, and seed capital came initially from Bill Gross.[citation needed]

In 1999, Citysearch acquired the competing Sidewalk.com website from Microsoft,[3] and merged the two sites together. In 2007, another competitor, Insider Pages was acquired.[4]

In June 2010, Citysearch LLC rebranded as CityGrid Media. The flagship product of CityGrid Media is CityGrid, a content and ad network for local. CityGrid Media also owns and operates leading local consumer properties which include Citysearch, Insider Pages, and Urbanspoon.[5]

While many local search sites have mushroomed over the past few years, Citysearch's biggest competition comes from the fast-growing Yelp, Inc. Yelp has been growing at 80% while Citysearch has remained flat.[6] Local search engines from Bing, Google and Yahoo are also widely used alternatives to finding local businesses on the internet.

Best of Citysearch[edit]

Best of Citysearch is a feature that gives locals an opportunity to vote for their favorite businesses in popular categories such as Restaurants, Nightlife, Hotels and Services. Citysearch opens up its annual polls with nominations from editors. Throughout the voting period visitors to the site cast votes for their favorite local business. After the polls close, the top ten businesses in each category are revealed to their cities.

Criticism[edit]

  • In 2005, Citysearch was criticized by a blogger for their alleged inflation[7] of user submitted ratings and reviews. Citysearch has since updated their ratings system. Citysearch has also stated that they have the right to refuse to post or to remove any user review that violates the terms of use. Reviews that are subject to removal include unacceptable content such as profanity, personal information, promotion of illegal activity and harmful content.[8] In November 2007, Citysearch partnered with MerchantCircle,[9] a company that conducts automated telemarketing to small businesses to sell them online advertising packages.
  • Users have criticized Citysearch for deleting and censoring genuine reviews, but taking little to no action against fake reviews.
  • After registering, Citysearch offers no apparent option for closing one's account.
  • Citysearch is also criticized because they allow negative reviews even if the reviewer has not utilized the business being reviewed. They then refuse to remove the content or delist the individual being defamed.
  • In 2014, businesses still complain that Citysearch continues to operate as if it has no liability for false and defamatory comments posted against the businesses that Citysearch lists on its site. Businesses complain that Citysearch lists their businesses on their site, against the wishes of and without the permission of the businesses, and then permits false and defamatory comments to be posted against the businesses.
  • The Society of St Francis animal shelter is one of the businesses that is contemplating legal action to recover damages that the shelter alleges it received by being listed, against its will, on Citysearch and on Citysearch's "Insider Pages." The animal shelter complains that Insider Pages and City Search provided a forum for the no-kill shelter to be harassed and stalked by individuals who used fake and incomplete names to make false and defamatory comments about the shelter. St. Francis is no stranger to defamation actions. It successfully had an internet site removed after suing the owner of the site for defamation.

Top Citysearch Sites[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Citysearch". CrunchBase. 
  2. ^ "CityGrid Media". CrunchBase. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft Sells Off Sidewalk Sites to Rival CitySearch". BNET. 1999-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  4. ^ "Troubled Insider Pages Acquired By CitySearch". TechCrunch. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  5. ^ "Citysearch Recasts Itself As CityGrid Media". TechCrunch. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  6. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (Sep 2, 2009). "Yelp Is Growing 80 Percent A Year, While Citysearch Remains Flat". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Normalize Citysearch Rankings With Greasemonkey". DeWitt Clinton. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  8. ^ Citysearch Terms of Use
  9. ^ Search Engine Watch, Nov 29, 2007

External links[edit]