MerchantCircle and MerchantCircle Expand Partnership to Improve Online Visibility for Local Businesses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and LOS ALTOS, Calif. (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) – August 19, 2009 – (Nasdaq:WWWW), a leading provider of online marketing for small businesses, and, the largest social network of local business owners with 20 million unique visitors per month, today announced the expansion of their existing partnership to help improve the online visibility of local businesses. As a result of this partnership, MerchantCircle now has over 900,000 local business-owner members.

In addition to MerchantCircle's suite of easy-to-use online publishing services, MerchantCircle's local business members will have access to marketing products and services designed to help them successfully market their businesses online. Participating merchants will gain the following benefits:

  • A professionally built or redesigned website with enhanced Web design and marketing features on a unique domain address
  • Inclusion on top-tier search engines
  • An Internet Scorecard that tracks website performance in real-time
  • Secure and cost-efficient eCommerce options that will allow merchants to safely transact with their customers
  • "MerchantCircle's vast network of local businesses and highly-complementary product offerings and strategy make them an ideal partner for us," said David Brown, Chairman and CEO, "With the majority of consumers researching products and services on the Internet before purchase, it is essential that small businesses maintain a high visibility online. This partnership gives our combined small business customers a one-two punch for a stronger local Web presence: stronger visibility on the Web and the means to properly market and conduct business online."

    As part of the agreement, customers will receive a free profile page with a "MerchantCircle Verified" business listing on MerchantCircle's popular local directory, extending their online presence further. In addition to creating blogs, newsletters and online coupons through MerchantCircle, customers can link their website and their MerchantCircle listing. is also the exclusive provider of search engine marketing for MerchantCircle customers, in addition to offering their website, lead generation and diverse online marketing suite of products.

    "Our partnership with helps us provide better advertising services to our local business members and it also allows us to expand our local network. We look forward to helping's customers gain more visibility online and to interact with local businesses and consumers through social networking," said Ben Smith, Chairman and CEO, MerchantCircle. "Coupled with our existing publishing tools, we are confident that the initial 100,000 merchants we are welcoming to our network at the onset of the agreement will find our online community and the services we offer to local merchants to be of tremendous value."

    "MerchantCircle and will be an effective team for working with small businesses," said Peter Krasilvosky, Vice President and Program Director, The Kelsey Group. "This is the case as SMBs move up the value chain and spend more on marketing, and as they optimize for the greatest reach among consumers. This deal works to the companies' different strengths."

    About Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WWWW) is a leading provider of online marketing for small businesses. offers a full range of online services, including Internet marketing and advertising, local search, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, lead generation, home contractor specific leads, website design and publishing, logo and brand development and eCommerce solutions, meeting the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle. For more information on the company, please visit or call 1-800-GETSITE.

    About MerchantCircle

    Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, over 900,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants.

    In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of online advertising services including Search Engine Marketing, Website Directory Submission, Web Content Creation, Instant Website Development and Business Verification Services. The company is located on Main St. in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Disney's Steamboat Ventures, and IAC. Learn more at

    This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire,

    SOURCE:; MerchantCircle

    Olga Gikas

    Kevin Leu

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