MapQuest unveils business center for merchants

For the second time this week, a company primarily known for providing maps and direction services has expanded to deliver its own local search feature.

Personal navigation device company TomTom unveiled a local search option earlier this week, phasing out its use of Google Maps and Places in favor of its own in-house functionality, according to PC Magazine.

Now MapQuest, a leading online mapping brand, has launched its Local Business Center to enhance local search content that allows merchants to deliver more comprehensive information to their customers.

"The new MapQuest Local Business Center underscores our mission of accuracy, helpfulness and reliability across MapQuest's dot-com and mobile platforms," said Christian Dwyer, senior vice president and general manager.

MapQuest's LBC offers free services that will allow businesses to register listings on its website, upload storefront and additional photos, add multiple URLs, reservation links, parking tips and location information. Paid services include promotions that appear in search listing results and a distribution service that adds business information to additional services such as Citysearch, Yelp and Yellowbook.

Dwyer adds that the LBC will assist merchants in connecting directly with consumers who are actively searching for business information and deals.