• http://www.localseoguide.com Andrew Shotland

    Although I think the growing presence of the 10 pack is definitely a factor in the changing traffic of these big IYPs, I think competition from other sites could be playing just as big a role. There are several “2nd tier” and “3rd tier” IYPs that have popped up over the past year or two with many garnering between 500K & 3MM monthly uniques. Local.com via its PremierGuide division and MojoPages have created hundreds of these directories for local media brands. Many vertical sites seem to be adding yellow pages listings, particularly in the local events and restaurants categories which account for a large amount of searches. And the store locator sections of national chains are getting much better at SEO too.

    Each of these sites has to get search traffic from somewhere, and my bet is that they the collective ankle-nipping adds up to the big guys losing a foot or perhaps an entire leg.

  • http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    Interesting observations, Andrew. Some of the smaller players like relatively recent phenomena such as CitySquares.com and HotFrog.com along with those you mention could easily be contributing to some erosion of the larger players.

  • http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    Interesting observations, Andrew! Some of the smaller players such as up-and-rising HotFrog.com and CitySquares.com, along with those you mentioned, could easily be contributing to the erosion of the larger players.

  • http://www.netmagellan.com/ Ash Nallawalla

    The Google trend lines could be wrong for others if our own experience is any guide. Google Trends doesn’t provide any units of measure but show a steady decline for us since July 2008. In reality, our UV numbers have been climbing steadily since then.

    Rich Snippets and microformats are a mixed blessing where the directory operator needs to show visits to the directory to demonstrate advertiser ROI. If the Google user sees the essential information in the snippet, e.g. a rating, or a phone number, they might not click through.

    But overall this is a great article on the challenges facing IYPs.