Google Maps Local Business Center makes BIG sense in Africa.
I had an interesting morning today when I discovered Google Maps Local Business Center in a Techcrunch story. With all the hype about high speed cables connecting Africa to the world this year and the need for localized content, Google Local Business Center is a good start for many African businesses to get themselves online, and get found at a very low cost.
Basically, the service enables you to list your business for free with contact details, email, phone numbers, etc just like in the yellow pages of your standard telephone directory. However, it goes step further by also mapping your business on Google Maps, and even enables you to add your company logo, pictures of your products and services and even videos that are hosted on Google’s YouTube service. I added my business to Google Maps Local Business Center this morning and it took no longer than 5 minutes to get it done.
I think that the upside for any African business, small or large using Google Maps Local Business Center could be huge one day. The main kicker to the service is that its completely free and you don’t even need to have a web site to list your business – a major plus in a continent where over 80% of the population lives below the poverty line and web sites are generally unaffordable for most businesses.