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New Yellow Pages Group (Canada) CMO Stephane Marceau, on the job since June, is beginning to make his mark, with two big online announcements this week. The combined moves suggest YPG is stepping up its efforts to generate more traffic on its own property as well as through major Canadian traffic sources.

Today YPG announced a deal with search marketing player Marchex to offer performance-based advertising to SMBs (monetizing both calls and searches). The deal substantially expands YPG’s efforts in SEM. The publisher has been an AdWords reseller since 2007, but the deal gives the company a more complete SEM offering. The deal is expected to take form beginning in Jaunary 2010.

Here is a comment from Marceau in today’s press release:

“YPG makes it simple for SMB advertisers to find new business. We already provide merchants and businesses of all types with leads from multiple sources across the Internet, mobile and print media. The new paid search product is a full service offering designed to be simple, effective and hassle-free for advertisers. The services will allow our advertisers to find new business through search engines such as Bing (MSN), Yahoo!, Google and other top tier online properties. Marchex is a natural partner for us given their experience in the U.S. with leading publishers serving small and medium-size businesses.”

Earlier this week, YPG announced a substantial redesign of YPG’s online Yellow Pages directory. The new site features a new look and feel with a simplified user interface (“What” and “Where”) along with a more relevancy-based search algorithm. For what it’s worth, I badly mangled the spelling of Toronto and it managed the search without missing a beat. The new site touts more ways to search, by landmark or neighborhood, for example, and also features more robust maps (from Bing).


Here is how Marceau describes the new site:

“We believe we have set the bar for online directories and we will continue to evolve the user experience based on consumer feedback and the needs of advertisers. From an advertiser’s perspective, the changes will ensure that online listings take full advantage of features such as interactive maps, better organized listing information and easy-to-read business details.”

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