Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ASBDC Chicago: business.gov

I went to the business.gov booth and asked them, "You have a good service, so why don't people know about you?" The person at the booth shrugged and said, "I just don't know."

And that was before I learned that this SBA business gateway had won a "Prestigious Search Engine Award", the ONLY government program to win:

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Gateway Program was selected by the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference for the prestigious Best Use of Local Search award on August 20, 2008, the only government finalist in any category. Business Gateway was selected over two private sector companies.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, SES incorporated its first annual awards, honoring 15 outstanding “search marketers.” The Business Gateway Program was selected as the winner of the “Best Use of Local Search” category because of its unique solution for handling geographically oriented search queries. Business Gateway is a cross-agency program providing small businesses with a single access point – www.business.gov – to easily find government information, including forms and compliance assistance resources
and tools.

Business.gov uses the Google search engine and is able to improve upon it by intelligently reading a user’s query for geographic context (city, state, zip code). The Business.gov search feature returns only the most relevant results that align with the specific geographic area for which a user is seeking

“This award demonstrates SBA’s commitment to providing innovative services to the small business community,” said Sandy K. Baruah, Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “We are proud of the work Business.gov has done to help our nation’s businesses.”

The SES Award is one of the most recent of eight noteworthy award recognitions for the Business Gateway Program this year. Nancy Sternberg, the Business Gateway Program Manager, comments on the continued success of Business.gov: “It is truly an honor to be gaining so much recognition for doing something we at Business.gov feel so passionate about. At the end of the day, as long as we’re saving business owners’ time and money, we’ve done our jobs. These awards are icing on the cake.”

About Search Engine Strategies
Search Engine Strategies is the leading global conference and exposition dedicated to search engine marketing, optimization, and online advertising tactics and best practices. The conference is held annually over five days in San Jose, CA, attracting top industry leaders. SES is the single most important, relevant conference in the search engine marketing industry.

About Business.gov
Business.gov is the official business link to the U.S. Government, and is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with 21 other federal agencies. This partnership, known as Business Gateway, serves as an incubator of technologies designed to improve the delivery of services and information to the nation’s small business community. Originally launched in 2004, Business.gov provides a single access point to government services and information to help the nation's businesses with their operations.

Photos (c) 2008 by Mary Hoffman.

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