Should I Advertise In The Yellow Pages? Part 2

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Instead of using the internet to connect potential customers looking for information to a small business in a local area, the yellow page publishers remained greedy and “sold” space on their sites in the form of “priority placements” and banner ads. This had nothing to do with the end user looking for information and had everything to do with how much a business owner would pay to be above the fold. Just like the print product, you could pay or buy your positioning and the promise of more calls and more customers.

Google did/does the exact opposite, Google doesn’t care one bit if your Adwords campaign works, they don’t care if no one clicks on your ad, what they do care about is that the end user looking for information can find it. Google rewards businesses for being relevant and having authority in their particular industry. When you search for a Dentist in Gilbert Arizona that offers teeth whitening, that’s exactly what you find. Not a Dentist who paid the most to land at the top of the page. Around 2008 the yellow pages industry finally caught on and started developing their sites to be more like search engines, but it was too late, Google and Yahoo had already set the standard and by doing so, won the war of local search.

How can I be so sure the battle is over?
When I do a Google search for a Roofer, Plumber, Electrician, Attorney, Dentist or Garage Door Repair in Phoenix, Arizona I see companies like,, and advertising on the right hand side of Google, in the paid search results, yet try and find a listing for Google in the phone book or even the heading “Search Engines”. I’ll save you the time, there isn’t one.

See, the yellow page publishers know you’re using search engines more than the dinosaur print product but in order to “try” and get clients any form of traffic the yellow page publishers are forced to advertise on Google, then hope the end user clicks on their ad and then wades through a number of advertisers on the yellow pages web site before making a contact. Here’s an idea, cut out your yellow pages budget and the yellow pages middle man and learn or pay a company a small fee to run your own Adwords campaign. If you have a strong, easy to navigate web site, you’ll learn very quickly that you’ll be just fine without that half page in the phone book and the monthly bill that goes with it.

This was part 2 in a 5 part series. Part 3 in a day or two.

If you’re a small business owner, I sincerely hope it helps.

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