The "relevance" sort seems to be category and title keyword density, with an alphabetical sort on keyword modifiers. I can see it as a feeder database for somebody... can't see it as a destination site.
Yellowbook is likely running to play catch up all over again. It made its hard push into the print directory world just as the world was easing over into the "find it online" model. For online brand, YellowPages.com has them beat hands down. YellowBook will have to far outspend YellowPages.com to build online brand.
I'm guessing that the book is cooked, toast, despite a nifty commercial, but it's always nice to see someone challenging the big guns and the status quo.
I saw the ad on TV but I can't see the average local business person running to the phone or the net to sign up. Not that they don't want representation on the platform it's a matter of not knowing what to do once there.
Many of the clients I approach are all for a local web campaign but have no clue how to get aboard. Many have been approached by "web guys" who give them incredibly expensive quotes they cannot accept.
YellowBook or any other local platform has to get more personal than a TV commercial and they need to offer an inexpensive and easy to understand program.
From my point of view it's a wide open field for independent local SEM guys or gals to approach local business with an affordable way in for clients.
I think regardless of brand power, the competition will be good for the users and advertisers. Yellowbook has done a good job of eating away at the other yellowpages books and they can do the same for online. I guess time will tell.
What a great discussion.
A couple quick points.
- Footsoldiers - YB acquisition of ClickForward - Distribution is an equal driver as Destination - Footprint Dominance - SME Relationships
This IS where local search product is being sold. YB just isn't top 5 right now. A player though? You better believe it. As for the marketplace still being open to opporunity, well, sure. The central question is who the hell wants SME budgets right now. LS products sales to this point look very similar to how it has looked in the tradional media world for a very long time. The local advertising space on line is nascent in terms of infrastructure and adoption but very old in terms of the traditional battlelines. YB is just one example of that.
[edited by: Chicago at 1:45 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]
Untutored thoughts from someone outside the local search business....
|The central question is who the hell wants SME budgets right now. |
This sentence jumps out at me as a core factor when you consider where local search has to go. Not only aren't the paid listings alone useful enough to pull in traffic, but I take it that, by themselves, they're also not profitable. Maybe, until they reach critical mass of some sort, they're at best a loss leader, the way weather reports are on the news... and in fact the way news used to be on TV.
I feel that a non-niche local search site has to be so useful that it's compelling to use, and it's got to be cross-indexed up, down, and sideways, offering information in every context. Local search engines still aren't delivering anything like the information density that the free local weeklies do in most metropolitan areas, either in editorial content or in advertising, even though they have the potential of many more genuinely useful whistles and bells.
I keep waiting for a big local search engine to partner up with a local newspaper chain.
could you define what you meant in your post for the non- marketing lay person?
As a small business person (does SME = small/medium enterprise) my perspective seems to be different from that of marketing and seo/sem practitioners.
Respectively strong and medium levels of local optimization tend to outrank the listings from different versions of IYP. They also tend to cover more territory with regard to the long tail of search.
Nevertheless as time moves on I see other value with regard to IYP. I expect it to be very negotiable w/regard to price though...at least certainly in these relatively early days for IYP.