CEO at Econsultancy
01 March 2006 16:57pm
Last year I was talking to a Board member of Yell.com and (somewhat provocatively) quizzing her over why they had done the deal with Google to provide them with their local / business data.
Now, I don't know the details of that deal, and from what I've read Yell.com's recent financial results have been very positive, but I do wonder for the future of a household brand like the Yellow Pages?
It used to be that I went to Yell.com to get local search results (e.g. Florists in Hertford) because Google just gave me clever affiliate sites. Since Yell now have their data within Google I don't go to Yell.com any more I just use Google Local. Which makes me wonder why Yellow Pages are currently spending a lot on above the line advertising in order to try and get me to go to Yell.com?
In the meantime Yellowikis has popped up which threatens to do to Yellow Pages what Wikipedia has done to the Encyclopedia industry.
And, according to Yellowikis, they have been provided with Google Category Codes which "are used by Google Local to identify the types of products and services you deliver". So if Google have the data via the likes of Yellowiki, and the means to classify, where exactly does that leave Yell.com? Anyone could launch a Housingmaps.com style mashup which could be more niche and more relevant to a particular community than Yell.com ever could?
At the time of speaking to the lady from Yell my sense was that you either had to own the beginning of the customer journey (which Google have stolen from Yell), or you had to be real niche player (local sites, mashups etc.), or you had to be a B2B data provider. My sense is that for all the value in the Yellow Pages / Yell.com brand, and for all the legacy value in the local sales relationships that someone like Yell have, they will be eaten away from above and below and that their real value is in being a (B2B) data provider and not a consumer brand. A bit like Ordance Survey, for example.
What do you think?
11 March 2006 09:37am
Seems odd to give away your business before being bought out. Surly they are devaluing their own business! That said, I think a lot of people would still use yell over google when looking for a specific company.
From what I have heard though (latest), google are not buying out yell. I would guess its was a roumor started when google decided to integrate yells data into their local search?
Time will tell.
Founder at Yellowikis
18 March 2006 13:51pm
Yell might like to see this too. Video from YouTube integrated into a Yellowikis page. For Free.
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