It’s billed as a directory of businesses in Michigan, but this site has a lot more than business listings available. Visit http://www.michiganbusiness.us/ and you’ll probably want to start with the over 15,000 business listings — but after that, take some time to explore.
From the front page you can do some browsing for business — by type or by city. There’s also a lot of other stuff on the front page, including random Michigan facts (I didn’t know the one about Fremont and the baby food) and pointers to good Michigan sites. To get more into the business listings, choose the Business Search link from the nav on the left. Here you can search for businesses by phone number, description (keyword), name, area code, etc. There are also a couple of unlikely searches available here as well, like first name. Yes, you can find every business in Michigan with a listed representative named Herbert. (MichiganBusiness.us lists one.) Government agencies will also be found with this search.
Business listings include contact name, address, phone number, and map link. Sometimes, but mostly not, there’s also e-mail and Web site. (If there’s no e-mail address on file the listing will say so, but if there’s no Web link the listing will say nosite.html, which will take you to a new page that reads, “This business does not have a website in our records.” This is astoundingly annoying.) There’s a detail page for each business but I didn’t see anything on the ones I looked that that couldn’t be gotten from the search results page. (The business detail pages are also EXTREMELY ad-heavy.)
The “General Info” link on the left nav bar has several good pages, including a nicely-annotated link list, demographic information, Michigan related press releases, and eCards. The site also has Michigan job listings, but that part of the site doesn’t look very busy. And of course if you are a Michigan business you can get an account, update your listings, enhance your listings for a small fee, etc.
I liked the many search options and the annotated link lists are good, but the pages here are ad-heavy to the point of distraction. Removing an ad block on the individual pages — maybe the skyscraper on the far right? — would help the design a lot, in my opinion.
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