• FaceOnMars

    Good luck ranking on Google, which seems to have taken aim at vertical specialty/niche directories across the board. And no, I’m not talking about glorified link farms, but useful repositories of information. I’m not sure if Google has intentionally gone after “legit” directories as a competitive practice to eliminate competition or if it is a case of dolphins getting caught up in a wide tuna net as a byproduct of Panda? My suspicion is that it’s a combination of both, with an emphasis on the former.

    Directories have an advantage over Google’s singular input box in so far as having established categorical branches and sub-branches … which can be carefully culled by directory administrators. It is possible Google believes they are now sufficiently capable of emulating a “virtual directory structure” via targetted results generated from their traditional (and limited) single free form input box. However, the level of granularity which can be achieved in a directory structure is superior. I believe Google knows this and is possibly attempting to keep visitors who might otherwise click on a link to a specialty directory within their realm. A prosperous horizontal directory would be considered an even greater threat to their market share.

  • http://MCVL.net/ Daniel Bates

    Anything that puts Yelp out of business would be welcome as long as they too don’t blackmail businesses.

  • Casey Lewis

    I worked for AT&T for 20 years selling Yellow Pages. Then went on to work directly with Dex and AT&T as they went through bankruptcies, acquisitions, mergers, etc. In this case, I represented the Sales Reps working for YP. They mostly left for early retirement and in its first two years of existence YP has outsourced everything possible and removed the main benefits and commission structures from the glory days of Yellow Pages. What I’m saying is that YP is to Local Search what KFC is to fried chicken. No matter how hard they try to hide from what they really are, its served right in front of you.

  • Pat Grady

    Also making the “better late than never” news… horse drawn carriages announce they plan to add motors to compete with those “horseless” thingies.

  • Kevin Bekker

    Ha ha…

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    You’re right, all these stats are formidable for an underdog. YP is making noise in their industry and I hope that their business will continue to grow. Congratulations to YP team.

  • Tim Abrams

    Question: Who’s hiding? Casey, your comments are weighted
    from the context of your legacy in the protected union of print yp? The
    financials of yps, their M&As don’t shed light in this new world order. Now, forward looking, I think the question
    here will be, or should be: Can this Harvard B school grad elevate YP into the nation’s
    competitive ‘top of mind awareness’ search go-tos quick enough with their limited
    marketing resources. And, can Cerberus Capital and
    AT&T bankroll the right technology acquisitions in
    order to gain the key critical mass search traffic quick enough that will allow
    their 4000 feet on the street media consultants (and agencies) the time it will
    take to prove ROI to advertisers. If
    they can’t pull off that tri-fecta, they’ve got a 50-50 fighting chance.

  • O C

    This is fairly scary. More millions spent to convince consumers that “YP” doesn’t really stand for “yellow pages” (wink, wink)? Why not just change the name (and the colors, for crying out loud)? Save millions. AT&T Interactive was even a better name. Just take the loss on the money spent to buy the yellowpages.com domain years ago. Then use those saved branding millions to actually build products that consumers and local businesses want and that are better than Yelp and Google?

  • Doug Powell

    Not sure about you, but to me…

    “$350 million in mobile ad revenue in 2012 (out of $1 billion in total digital revenue)”

    …qualifies as success in Local Search!

  • Casey Lewis

    Doug – I don’t consider what is going on in the Yellow Page company world to be success. As a person who represented over 2500 sales people who are directly responsible for that success you must consider what the long term health will be. I hope that Cerberus owned YP, Dex run by Peter MacDonald can find a way to deliver long term. But the state of the Company’s and I’m talking about working there is a long ways from what a dynamic successful digital marketing company looks like. Just look at the number of customers they are losing every month. So moving revenue around may be helping them look good now, they are losing the battle month over month. And at the same time the customer market is getting tired of being told that “this is the right media mix for leads” oh and if its not we’ll give you a bunch of free stuff to make up for it. They are going to need to find a way to deliver new business to the client. Something the Yellow Pages did so well for so long. Putting apps on Smart devices is a start but the jury is still out on the ROI and value to the customers who are the original guinea pigs trying out all of the Mobile offerings of YP and Dex. Really, that’s all that’s left. IMHO

  • Casey Lewis

    Very well put Tim. My bias is based upon the fact that I know most of those players. Paul Miller bailing out right in the middle of everything won’t help and trying to fast track training a new sales force is killing them. Its an extremely tall order. I wish I could broker a partnership between them and HubSpot.

  • Casey Lewis

    absolutely. The mid level managers hated the YP branding. If you watched it though it was happening well in advance of the Cerberus purchase in 2012. They should have left the print alone until death and then just completely rebranded the digital group and come up with true Inbound type product offerings instead of trying to leverage their existing customers revenues. It ended up accelerating the decline of print and introduced substandard IYP that they now must overcome to survive.