Strategic Partnerships Prompt Shifts In IYP Search Activity
The IYP search market leader in fourth-quarter 2007 was Yellowpages.com Network, which forged multiple partnerships this year with sites including Areaguides.net and 411.com, helping them take the top position in total IYP searches.
Yellowpages.com Network, with a 20.2% share, barely edged out Superpages.com Network's 20% share to lead the IYP search market. Like Yellowpages, Superpages' new partnerships provided a boost to its search activity, with the new Local.com relationship and the Infospace FindIt/Switchboard.com acquisition contributing to its gains. However, Superpages discontinued its affiliation with both 411.com and MSN Yellowpages, offsetting the positive impact of the new relationships. Although Superpages saw an increased number of total searches in 2007, it did not grow as fast as the market, and as a result its share fell slightly.
Certain top IYP providers experienced growth in 2007 by capitalizing on changes in their partner and affiliate relationships. Yellow Book Network, which more than doubled its share from 4% to nearly 9%, benefited in part from its new relationship with Addresses.com. Microsoft Sites experienced an increase in IYP searches after it began redirecting searches to Microsoft Maps beginning in December, subsequent to the dissolution of its partnership with Superpages.
R.H. Donnelley, the only regional local search provider among the top eight U.S. IYP sites, had a relatively modest national IYP search market share of 3.3%. However, within their 14-state region, they led the market with a 22% market share.
Several providers of local business search listings experienced substantial growth in the number of unique visitors from December 2006 to December 2007. Yellow Book Network and R.H. Donnelley saw traffic more than double, driven by a combination of new relationships and organic visitor growth. Contributing to growth at Yellow Book Network were partnerships with Infospace and Addresses.com, while R.H. Donnelley's growth can be attributed to its acquisition of Business.com.