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Marchex spawns 100,000 local search sites

Marchex launches local yellow pages Web sites with targeted ads.

Seattle-based Marchex is launching more than 100,000 Web sites on Wednesday that are designed to serve as online yellow pages for all types of services and covering all of the United States. They also offer targeted ads.

There are more than 15 million business listings across more than 20,000 categories, everything from suntan parlors and auto repair to pest control and baby sitters. Sites run the gamut from the general to the specific based on city and category, such as: www.cuisine.com, www.podiatrist.com, www.dallasdoctors.com and www.90210.com.

Unlike many online business listing sites, the coverage appears to be fairly comprehensive, including both small towns and big cities. For example, there was no listing for locksmith in the small town of Albion, Wash., but there was for nearby Pullman, Wash.

Users can refine their searches, searching for ambiance at hotels, for instance. The sites also offer professional reviews from third parties such as Frommer's and Citysearch, as well as user reviews and a one-click rating system. For hotels and restaurants, computer-generated reviews and rankings compiled into short summaries are culled from multiple sources.

In September, Marchex plans to launch a consumer site that will allow people to go to one site to search for businesses in their locale.

"We want to be one of the leading local online networks," said John Keister, president and chief operating officer at Marchex.