My article, “Anatomy & Optimization of a Local Business Profile ” was just awarded a SEMMY in the Local Search category for 2008.
Many thanks to all of you who voted for it!
The article very nearly wrote itself, being a list of some of the more common elements found in the business profiles that are commonly associated with listing information found in yellow pages and other local search directory sites.
I was really pleased with the article after I wrote it as I recall, and it turned out being a little more meaty than I expected when I started it. Even so, it was one of the “looser” written articles I did last year on Search Engine Land, and much easier for me to write than some of the other ones that I spent days researching and writing. I was short on time during the holiday month, so I selected the topic from my ideas list as one of the easier subjects to cover since I didn’t have much time. Having less time to write seems to reduce my bad habit of being too verbose.
I had at least one critic last year refer to one of those over-researched, exhaustingly-long articles as being “convoluted”, and a number of my friends and colleagues have also privately told me that I tend to be a bit too wordy or overly complex. It’s all the more apparent when one of my simpler articles like this one gets an award — simple, easier-to-digest articles tend to be preferable in this internet age. This is one of the reasons that blogs have become such a successful medium.
I find it really challenging to present complex subjects simply and elegantly, since my IT background generated habits of writing instructions or descriptions with extremely neurotic attention to detail. Writing tech requirements is quite different from writing informational articles, though, and I hope to take simplicity in writing as one of my new year’s resolutions.
Even this article was a bit too long in many respects — Chris Sherman  actually improved its legibility a bit before publication when he lightly edited it by formating each of the listed profile elements a bit more like dictionary definition entries. I’d like to thank him for his editing work and writing advice over time — much appreciated along with his suggestions for compelling headlines.
Also, just a quick acknowledgment of some of my former coworkers at Superpages.com who taught me a lot about business profiles while I was there: Denise DeArmond, Mohan Medepalli , Jennifer Stelling , and Sharon Walker.
Finally, some thanks go to Matt McGee  for organizing this — not to mention a tip of the hat for developing something that’s pretty effective linkbait! 🙂