10 Ideas for Saving Yellow Pages
I won’t say I agree with everything Chris Smith says in his column today in Search Engine Land, which offers 10 ideas for saving the Yellow Pages. But I do agree with a lot of it. In fact, much of what he says is similar to recommendations we have made in recent years, such as adopting ubiquitous call measurement and embracing rather than resisting opt-out distribution.
Smith argues that the Yellow Pages industry needs to become more honest about the situation it faces and more transparent in communicating return on investment, and that it should adjust its pricing to reflect its true value, among other things. Fair enough.
I could nitpick at some of his assumptions, but overall this is a constructive list of recommendations and, importantly, it shows a more nuanced view of Yellow Pages than we have generally seen from those reporting from an online-only perspective. Smith seems to think Yellow Pages can be saved. We agree, but the industry’s challenges are acute and getting worse, something made more apparent by the fact that both Idearc and RHD have been delisted by the NYSE, a far fall from their peak as cash-rich investor darlings.
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I wouldnt bother nitpicking at his suggestions. He underlying premise is that yp can be saved, but I believe that its inevitable demise can only be delayed as local search directories like click2connect.com continue to take target market mindshare and eyeballs away from print. This migration causes a customer revolt and without strong customer support for overpriced ads, the business model is doomed.