AT&T’s YellowPages.com, which was recently named the fastest growing Internet yellow pages site by comScore, has been testing a beta site with a dramatically improved design and user experience. Here’s the new beta site.
Almost everything on the new site, which has some glitches still, is a substantial improvement. Compare, for example, “Japanese restaurants, San Francisco” on the current site vs. the beta site. The new site also features improved refinements and navigation, including by zip and neighborhood.
Among the other upgrades, mapping and personalization features have been improved and are much easier to use. (YellowPages.com uses Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform). The site has come a considerable distance since SBC and BellSouth (now combined as AT&T) essentially acquired the URL a couple of years ago.
AT&T’s directory/yellow pages division increasingly sees itself as a brand with a multi-platform mission, including print, Internet and mobile. Regarding the latter it now is offering text-based mobile search and WAP search. There are also plans for yellow pages on IPTV and potentially tighter integration with 1-800-YellowPages, AT&T’s ad-supported free directory assistance offering.
Given its reach, brand equity and quickly improving user experience, YellowPages.com is emerging as a formidable competitor in local search.