Commentary

Internet Yellow Pages Thrives on Reputation

According to The State of Local Search study by comScore, new data show local searches now account for 13% of all core search activity on top web search portals as of January 2011. Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) and local search sites also exhibited strong growth with 5.6 billion local searches in 2010, a 15% increase over 2009

Neg Norton, President, Local Search Association, "... convenience, trust, and brand are all important in attracting the search... local search providers that offer all three attributes to the consumer will be in a good position to deliver to the advertiser... "  

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58% of respondents who choose an IYP site first, like DexKnows, Superpages, Yellowbook and YP.com, do so due to brand recognition and reputation. Nearly a third (30%) indicated they chose an IYP site first because of its reputation for local business information.

Reason For Choosing Primary Search Site

 

Site

Reason

IYP

All Other Sites

Speed/Accuracy

58%

56%

Brand recognition/reputation

58

44

Site attributes

27

40

Convenience

18

68

Source: comScore, Local Search Association, July 2011

Portal searchers were more likely to conduct local searches as part of broad information gathering, while primary IYP searchers reported conducting local searches to look for contact information with specific products or services in mind. Despite differences, over half of local business searchers choosing portal or IYP sites for primary local search are highly satisfied.

The study shows significant growth in mobile local search use, which provides opportunities for local businesses to engage with potential customers via mobile. In January 2011, 77.1 million mobile subscribers accessed local content on a mobile device, up 34% from the previous year. Local content users accounted for 33% of mobile subscribers, with 87% owning a GPS-capable handset (up 9% from the previous year).

App use for mobile local content grew 34%, with 56% of respondents using apps for local content.  Browsers lead in usage of local content with 73%, dropping from 75% last year.  Local content via SMS dropped to 25% from 30%.

Local Content via Mobile

Local Content Usage

Jan 2010

Jan 2011

Y/Y % Growth

Local content via application

42%

56%

34%

Local content via browser

75

73

-3

Local content via SMS

30

25

-14

Source: comScore, Local Search Association, July 2011

Core mobile usage behaviors showed local content dominating, as mobile subscribers increasingly turn to their mobile phones for information on maps, weather, traffic, retail and other local content. Online daily deal offers and discounts have also emerged as an additional customer acquisition channel for local businesses.

Gillian Heltai, Senior Director at comScore "... many new entrants to the daily deal space, but awareness is a big issue... wth IYP sites already interacting with local business searchers... there is the prospect of intercepting shoppers who are looking to buy and could become return customers."

Purchase Coupons (% of Respondents)

 

Yes

No

IYP

27%

73%

Others

38

62

Source: comScore, Local Search Association, July 2011

Norton concludes that "... the market is changing so rapidly that... small and medium size businesses are working to understand how to be effective and use these tools to their advantage..."

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1 comment about "Internet Yellow Pages Thrives on Reputation".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, July 26, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.

    The problems of the online YP is that they are NOT accurate with many mistakes. It is also more difficult to see comparisons of what the merchants offer since not only are the listings not alphabetical because of listings as ads - that key word thingy - but they are not full ads with information. Keep a print version in your closet for emergencies.

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