R.H. Donnelley’s DexOnline got a face-lift, rebranding and a few functional enhancements yesterday. The new site, known as DexKnows.com was launched throughout Dex’s 14-state region and includes new personalization features (MyDex) and enhanced maps. These provide a noticeably improved site experience over the previous version.
Personalization and Ajax-based mapping are becoming clear standards in local search, and IYPs, as they should be, are beginning to play ball in various ways. There also seems to be an uptick in site redesigns lately. Looking forward, using other trends in the IYP space as indicators, user-generated ratings and reviews could be next for Dex.
And as many IYPs are talking about (and Citysearch has executed) integrating small-business video ads as a user-centric feature (and additional source of revenues), Dex has already begun to develop this section of its Web site. Many of the videos don’t play yet, but you get the idea of what the company is trying to do.
Expect a lot of development there, and a great deal more feature enhancement among IYPs to gain competitive differentiation. This is especially true for regional players like Dex that are competing for users in their markets with national IYPs, search giants, vertical search sites and social local online pureplays like Yelp – some of which are further along Web 2.0 path than others.