I wanted to post something for the sake of SEOs, particularly consultants, about Yellow Pages and their foray into SEO.
YPG as you know are dying because their print books are rarely used. Nonetheless they still charge exorbitant amounts for small ads (small add with picture minimum 1000+ per month).
As a result they've quickly differentiated and expanded into the online directory world.
Now they're doing the same thing they've been doing for print--charge premiums for premium exposure--but this time online.
For a while you could get a free listing with YPG and pay for higher placements.
This of course all hinged on promises by YPG to deliver on great content.
YPG is cannibalizing a very large segment of the market, and one that could be lucrative for you. YPG already knows it and they're preying upon hapless small to medium sized business owners.
Most of the misinformation for YPG comes from their promises. They promise certain levels of exposure in google and like to confuse customers by being very unclear how they generate leads. To the untrained ear it sounds like you're going to get a first placement in Google, and you should, at least for the money you'd pay.
YPG will use their tactics of sale persuasion mostly on business owners who know little about the internet or how marketing online works.
Now moving into a tiered system where any business that wants exposure can buy one of three tiers.
The top tier, depending on competition, will run into the 1000s per month. Lower tiers hundreds.
All in all, a very poor investment. Why? Because again it ALL HINGES on how much traffic YPG provides.
They claim they get millions of visitors a day. They probably do, for the ENTIRE directory. But what about your little segment of the market?
I've watched stats, and maybe you have too. One YPG top placement ad prior to this tier system garnered under 60 visits for SIX MONTHS. Your stats are probably just as bad. Yet they want to charge HUGE amounts of money for supposed 'premium' space. Well again, it is premium, in YPG, but it's not in front of the eyes they claim, not for a long shot.
Simple fact, do a quick search for your primary keywords (stuff about your business, also add your city as a search keyword) and see if yellowpages shows up anywhere. Usually it wont, generally never in the top placement.
YPG will also try another tactic to squeeze money from businesses through PPC too. They'll claim a special relationship with Google Adwords, which is partially true, but what isn't worth the money is paying a premium to YPG to run your campaign.
So here's where you come in. These small businesses need to know that their money is better off spent building lasting value into their website thru lasting content and relevant links.
Their local listings need to optimized and developed along with organic placements.
For business thinking about YPG think about this: you can throw money in YPG for what are essentially poor results (hopefully you can measure your results independently and not using YPG reporting which are inflated and then lose all your results the instant you don't renew your contract.
You can invest the same money INTO your business that garner more traffic and more results because you're ranking in things that matter (Google, social media, etc.)
Put it this way, today Google is the new YellowPages. Invest your money into your business rather than putting it down the tubes in a temporary, usually ineffective and expensive alternative.
Please add your thoughts here.