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Internet Yellow Page Ads Online?  Should I Use Them in
Search Engine Marketing?

Print Yellow Pages are the most important form of advertising for the Local Business.  Some may argue, but we think they still are.  Now nearly all US Yellow Page directories have web sites.  So what, you say!  Well, according to some experts, including Dr. Ralph Wilson of Wilson Web Marketing Today, a handful of Yellow Page sites get a lot of traffic.  Furthermore, they feed directories on many local portal sites.  It is another source of traffic to your business site.

Granted, IYPs may not have the rich content that Local Searchs like Google and Yahoo! offer.  However, consumers view IYP as a safe haven for shoppers.  It's also important to note that IYPs have their own development staffs, and it seems they are strategically moving more in the direction of Local Search  in terms of content.  Print Yellow Pages and Internet Yellow Pages are still the staple for the small business in a local marketplace.  They should not be ignored.

In terms of distribution, 2 players have emerged as the leaders in feeding local portal sites with listings.  Those 2 are SBC and   Let's look at each of them.

SBC Smartpages and SBC YellowPages

Lady on Laptop Searching Internet Yellow Pages is designed to connect buyers to sellers, with a database of over 15 million national business listings and content organized around Shopping Guides, City Guides, Life Events, Business Guides and more. receives more than 210 million visits annually. Over 70% of visitors to contact a merchant and more than 46% make a purchase from a merchant following a visit to the site.

Source: feeds Yahoo! Local Yellow Page listings.  It has a Google page rank of 8/10 (Very Good), and an Alexa Rank of over 700 (Good). operates Cityguides at providing listings in 20 major cities.

Verizon SuperPages

Image of Phone and Computer Depicts IYP Process

Seventy five percent (75%) of people using contacted a business they found at; 45% of those people then made a purchase.


VerizonSuperPages feeds MSN Yellow Page and InfoSpace listings.  It has a Google page rank of 8/10 (Very Good), and an Alexa Rank of over 300.  Verizon services 29 states and DC.

A variety of listings and enhanced listings are offered by the Online Yellow Page providers.  Some listings are "free".  However, knowing what to list, where to list it, and what to say should be left to professionals.  Contact Us if you need assistance in writing and placing your IYP ads.  Depending on the type of project you have with us, IYP listings may be included in the package.

Local and National Directories

Local Directories can be an important source of new business.  There are many to look at; some specific only to that locality.  These are just a few of the types we are aware.

City Guides Examples are CitySearch, AOL CityGuide, AreaGuides, Cities, OnlineCityGuide, and Verizon CityPages.  Your city newspaper may have its own guide, as in "". 
Newspaper Based Guides Examples include the Boston Globe, Charlotte Observer, and ShopLocal.  One may exist for your city newspaper.
Portal Ties in to Local Search Engines Examples of these include Yahoo!Local, Yahoo! Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Local City Guides, and Yahoo! Maps. 

In contrast (as of this writing) Google has no city guides or city sites.  To find a local business, one includes the locality in the search, i.e. pet stores in Chicago would be searched by "pet store Chicago".

Which IYP or Local Directory Listing Should I Use in My SEM Program

The options are confusing.  Unfortunately, there is no simple answer - except to say it depends on your business, your locality, and your competition.  At Northern Illinois Search Engine Marketing, we are familiar with the directories and can guide you in selecting your listings. 

129 So. Phelps Ave., Ste 908

Rockford, IL 61108


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