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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Name Check: How Does Your Restaurant Fare on Google?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Where's Local Cafe?
  • Where's Local Cafe?

Newspapers and blogs aren't the only businesses that need to think about search engine optimization. The East Bay Express has taken it upon itself to demand that restaurants pick SEO-friendly names as well. Not long after the paper called out certain bands for being un-Googleable (have you ever tried looking for Girls videos on YouTube, for instance?), EBX writer Ellen Cushing came up with a list of East Bay restaurants with names so generic they're hard to look up online. SFoodie has had issues ourselves googling Local Cafe and The Alley, and we agree with her: "Telegraph" is almost impossible to find online.

Google has its local filters set high enough that when a San Franciscan types in "Locanda" the search engine readily gives you Craig and Annie Stoll's restaurant by that name, not the thousands of other Locandas in the United States and Italy. Surprisingly, Google also does a good job with restaurants like Locavore and Grand Cafe. But trying to search for the name of Locavore's chef can get hairy. And just try looking up Jones or Cafe Grill Bar (a Vietnamese restaurant in the Excelsior) in the Google Maps app on your smart phone.

Perhaps it's a better idea these days to to pick a restaurant name that's hard for English speakers to pronounce -- the brand-new Kúuup or Tayyibaat, for instance -- rather than a name like Taqueria San Francisco. TSF may have a website, for all SFoodie knows. We've just never been able to find it.

Follow us on Twitter at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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