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Microsoft Canada Co. and Yellow Pages Group Canada announced that Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping software is now available on The software licensing deal allows YPG to provide a more robust map experience for users. It will also enable the publisher to push the mapping technology to its various online properties and eventually create additional advertiser opportunities.

Three areas of development, according to Jean-Pascal Lion, YPG’s vice president of marketing, include “creating more layers within the maps to allow for advertising opportunities, maps to plot advertiser locations and map-based search similar to Google Maps via one of its stable of owned domains,”

While no dates have been established for the launch of these initiatives, it is clear there is a sense of urgency to get these functions up and running to not only take advantage of the revenue opportunities but also to help increase traffic to YPG’s affiliated sites.

The Virtual Earth mapping will also be added to the recently announced Profile Plus pages offering. The Profile Plus product offers advertisers the following components:

  1. A dynamic 30- to 60-second video profile of the business
  2. A photo gallery where advertisers can showcase up to 10 photos
  3. Business details, including location and contact information, hours of operation, products and brands, methods of payment, map and directions, etc.

The addition of a more sophisticated and increasingly accurate mapping program certainly improves the depth of the Profile Plus page and can only enhance its usage and relevancy with consumers. One interesting benefit is the ability of YPG’s Trader property to take advantage of the Virtual Earth mapping technology. This is an interesting move, allowing product searches to now include photos, maps and driving directions, which makes locating products a much easier process for users.

While currently ranked as the eighth most visited site in Canada by comScore, YPG is definitely working feverishly to improve its traffic and the quality of the user experience on its site. Maps are more for the benefit of users than advertisers; however, this move into offering a more robust mapping service should help, Trader Canada and all YPG’s affiliated sites generate more traffic and ultimately benefit its advertiser base.

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