How Many Lisbons Could There Be? or: Search Engine Optimization

The Portland Press Herald recently ran an Associated Press story detailing what happened when two tourists entrapped in an elevator accidentally called the wrong Lisbon police department for help. In Lisbon, Portugal, they called the first number listed online for “Lisbon Police,” which connected them with the wildly popular (or, at least, search-engine-optimized) Lisbon, Maine, police department, which serves a town of around 9,000 people, instead of the 506,900-strong metropolis in Portugal. Fortunately, despite a language barrier, the dispatcher was able to direct emergency crews to the trapped women, who were freed.

It never hurts to specify your location! According to the Library of Congress, there are at least 37 Lisbons in the U.S. alone.

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