Google Kicks the Yellow Pages to the Curb

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You knew Google was going to leverage its Local Business Center listings to drive even more advertising dollars to Google. Apparently, too many businesses found Adwords difficult to navigate. Google is now testing "Enhanced Listings" in Houston and San Jose.

Offline consultants will want to keep an eye on this.

Ping - Google's New Approach to Courting Small Businesses -

Google has been laying the groundwork to get into the local ad market since at least 2005, when it opened its "local business center," a directory of businesses whose listings show up in Web searches or maps. Google lets owners post their listings free, allowing them to add information like hours of operation, phone number, address and directions. Google says that more than one million businesses are listed in its local business center.

Last year, the company released a simple tool that allowed business owners to see how often their listings were viewed or clicked, a hint of how Web traffic might drive customers to physical stores.

Now, Google is ready to cash in on its investment, offering businesses enhanced listings at a small-business-friendly price. Other companies have offered similar flat-fee ads, but none with the heft of Google.

"The thing that is different about this is that it's Google, and Google's reach and visibility is so much greater than anyone else," said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research in San Francisco. Mr. Sterling said that the Yellow Pages industry has 3.2 million to 3.5 million advertisers. He predicts that Google could reach one million to two million.

Ping - Google's New Approach to Courting Small Businesses -
#google local business #google maps #offline consulting #yellow pages
  • Profile picture of the author tomcam
    Good catch, Chris. This will be interesting, since it's sort of a conflict of interest with their organic search customers. I'd do it if I were Google, but there is the very real possibility of a backlash.
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek Allen
    Google is taking over the world!
    My Blog + Cool Stuff>> Self Made CEO
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  • Profile picture of the author jstover77
    "Print books are going to be around for a long, long time," Mr. Norton said.

    I think that print books will be around at least in the immediate future, but I can bet that they are losing revenue. Online advertising dollars are clearly on an upward trend, and will take up a much larger share of the market. Just look at the trends. In 2006, 2.1 Billion was spent on online marketing and advertising. This year that number is projected to be 7 billion, and is projected to keep growing at a steady pace for years to come.

    You have to also look at cost. Print cost are very high. Many businesses are seeing a decline in their ROI from the phone book, yet their prices go up on a yearly basis. If you compare the return on investment, and cost of advertising online, many times it is a much more viable avenue to take for your brick and mortar, small businesses. Unfortunately, print advertising is a necessary evil for many companies.

    This being said, it still amazes me how many small businesses haven't caught on to the whole online advertising deal. When done properly, the ROI is much greater than any other advertising medium.
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