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Will Google Buy Yell?
Fresh speculation about a 2.6 Billion ($5.1B) bid

 12:41 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

This Bloomberg Article [bloomberg.com] reports on market speculation that Google will attempt to buy Yell (the UK Yellow Pages runaway market leader).

This makes sense for Google, but it's worrying from a competition point of view. I hope they are looking to buy the relationships that Yell has with UK businesses rather than stifle competition in UK Local Search. Looks like we could have another monopoly investigation if this goes ahead.



 1:53 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I hope they don't. I think it would be bad news for everyone in the local search market. If I had the spare cash I would buy yell, its great!


 1:59 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yell are one of the few companies online today who actually do a good job at providing a simple, useful and effective service. Just like Google used to do.


 3:03 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yell also owns the phone directory company in Spain that was sold o them by Telefonica. The same applies to all latinamerican phone directory companies that used to be owned by Telefonica.

Since I run a Spanish language phone directory myself, this is really bad news for me due to the fact that a big chunk of my traffic comes from Google. Are they going to happily continue forwarding me all the traffic they used to? Are my SERPS going to be the same if they buy Yell?


 3:41 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

there has to be monopolies on this one for crying out loud...

Goog online search - 80%+ market share

Yell online & Yellow pages directory - 75%+ of local

Last time I heard Yell had been investigated for alledged price fixing etc etc.

This would not be a good thing IMHO.

[edited by: TinkyWinky at 3:42 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2008]


 11:50 pm on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Goog online search - 80%+ market share

hang in there... all good things come to an end!


 12:28 pm on Jan 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yell were hopeless for me.

My total conversion rates over 6 months for a service sector site.

Google Natural = 1.4%
Adwords = 0.85%
Yell.com = 0.15%

With my average cost per click, Adwords offers a much better 'Bang per Buck'. Yell.com could never deliver 5.5 x more traffic for the same spend.

So I would be interested to hear what Google might have planed for Yell.com.


 7:51 pm on Jan 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure local-search is the current frontier and Google are desparate to dominate it. Googles local search is gettin fairly good in the UK but there is perhaps a lack of businesses signing up to it. Yell is very popular with business sign-ups but is not so popular with the public.

While I very much dislike the idea of G owning Yell, it makes sence for G.

Yell are doing some market research currently about what people think of their service. I got a call from a market research company on Friday on behalf of Yell, asking my opinion of their service. Perhaps a survey helps peg the values during negotiations.


 9:04 pm on Jan 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

The problem that we all need to see relates to market share :

Goog online search - 80%+ market share
Yell online & Yellow pages directory - 75%+ of local

If G do buy - then they must be buying Yell to tap into the local advertisers - the mom+pop businesses that they will increasingly need to prop up advertising rev and advertising growth in the UK

Anyone who is anyone online (almost) advertises with G already. They are already after getting more cash out of everyone - but they need to start attracting new blood to keep the UK steaming along with it's profit margin forecasts...

Let's be honest 2bill really isn't much for a business for G - especially when a deal like this would all but tie up maybe 90%+ of users that search online or locally for something/anything.

Thomson will not be able to cope with that and will become a 2-bit player in the UK leaving no one to challenge G n either search or offline media.

It also ties in with their trials of print advertising that are being considered for the UK - this really would fit in with a lot of the Yell type of customer and allow them to cross-sell offline and online advertisers.

just my 2p!


 8:52 pm on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

G should just keep on doing what they are doing. They'll then pick up Yell for 10p in a couple of years, if not sooner.


 11:07 am on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

On the positive side for Yell, our clients are getting extremely good conversions on Yell.com's own new ppc offering as it is a closed, highly qualified user group. Yell are also trialling syndication via 'local' partners such as Multimap and the AA. Their systems support contextual as well as search, so they have the tools to take on Google. They have potentially a huge spread of local advertisers, so if they can ramp up coverage via carefully chosen 'local' partners, that would be an excellent long term strategy for them.

brotherhood of LAN

 2:29 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yell's site is not very SEO friendly and I'm sure Google see more potential in presenting the information in another way, particularly since they show Yell results in Google local alongside a map.

Google could also get a fair idea of market penetration regarding adwords by having a comprehensive list of UK businesses; by having physical and web addresses to reference.

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