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DES MOINES, Iowa — You know how compliments go — the best ones come from third parties.

Des Moines got its second big one of the week, Wednesday. Forbes named it the second best city in America, two days after Fortune said it had the country’s most up-and-coming downtown.

“Oh, this is awesome news for us, this is incredible,” said Vicki Comegys of the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Sure it is!

“Press is good press,” said chef Sean Wilson in front of his restaurant, Proof.

No doubt.

“These rankings reinforce what we’re really good at,” added Jay Byers of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

We seem to be really good at making these lists.  Best place for business, kids, families, new restaurants, value, etc.  But the question is, does it all really do us any good?

Those who use the lists say ‘Yes.’

“When we go talk with site selectors in New York or Dallas or San Francisco, they know about these rankings,” said Byers.

Those who sell Des Moines say the rankings go viral through social media, and names like Forbes, Fortune, Trip Advisor and others have clout.

“It’s not us saying that Des Moines is great,” Comegys said, “everybody knows we’re paid to say that, so when it comes from a different source, people really look at that, they listen to that.”

These lists can make potential clients answer the phone when Des Moines calls. Then make them travel here, relocate here, and buy here.

“People coming through town are like ‘Hey, we found you on Trip Advisor!’” Wilson said, “and they actually do read those reviews, I guess.”

Above all, they make US feel good, right?

“It’s a great thing for people to feel good about their community,” admitted Byers.

“It’s validation for the fact that Des Moines is getting better and it continues to get better,” said Tucker Basey of Des Moines

It is.  After all, we look good, and somebody likes us.