Googler: Don't Use business.txt Files

Aug 28, 2012 • 8:34 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Local Search Engine Tips & Optimization
 

business.txtOne of the latest webmaster things floating around the web today is on the businesstxt file. It is based on the concept of a robots.txt file but is there to give business owners an easy way to give search engines and local search engines a way to discover the business address(es).

Business.txt is a file that local businesses upload to their website with their business information so all website providers can update it whenever something is changed.

It is located typically at the root of the domain under a file, /business.txt.

Googler, Paul Kinlan, said on Google+ that this is a bad idea. He said:

Please don't do this. I get humans.txt, but this is content that should be on your site and discoverable and searchable. The same problems this is trying to solve will also be present in this solution.

Yelp and all similar services need to get smarter and do the page scanning and indexing automatically.. THIS WILL NOT SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

There are markup solutions like Schema.org to handle this but the developer of business.txt says it is too complicated for most business owners.

I am not sure how it can hurt to have one but I do see Paul's point about the search engine should be smarter. Truth is, Google Maps isn't that smart, there are constant issues with locations and businesses within Google Maps being totally wrong, outdated and simply incorrect.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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