Optimize Site for local area places of interest

I'm building a site that will hopefully serve as an informational page about our local area.  

I'm pretty certain that I could easily rank some pages for some places of interest in the local area, some of which are local businesses.  Is there anything unethical about trying to optimize pages to show for the keywords of their business, etc.?  I know many of them don't do much if anything for keyword optimization.  Anything I'm missing?
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axessJoshAsked:
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Is there anything unethical about trying to optimize pages to show for the keywords of their business, etc.?

Depends on why you are doing it.  If you are somehow stealing business from these businesses then it's a little unethical.  But if all you are doing is pointing out interesting places then you are referring business to the business which should be appreciated, right?

If you are truly concerned, contact the business and ask them if it's okay to include them on your new site and honor any refusals (no matter how stupid they are).

Personally, I would ask for forgiveness instead of permission and just build the site.  If you do outrank the business on Google, make a sales pitch out of it and try to get some freelance SEO contracts out of it.
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axessJoshAuthor Commented:
thanks Jason, that is ultimately my goal.  

I don't want to take business from them, but rather use the potential search volume that may be looking for them to get their information from my site instead.  I even plan to provide the actual links to their site on those pages.

From there, using that traffic to hopefully increase the authority, etc. of my site and potentially in the future, offer to sell advertising to them for the volume.

Maybe that was too much info? :)
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Not too much info.  If you can pull it off, great.  This is one of those ideas that helps all parties and isn't parasitic. Go for it.
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