Sensis and Yellow Pages in free fall?

Meg has this interesting post on the decline of Sensis and Yellow Pages. Check out their Alexa graphs.

I wonder where their online customers are going?

I was also interested to read on her blog that former local Microsoft sales director Gary Cox has moved to News Digital to head up their local search play, TrueLocal.

18 thoughts on “Sensis and Yellow Pages in free fall?

  1. Simply: SEO. & the rise and rise of Google.

    once upon a time you needed Yellow Pages to find a range of business because: a/ Many didn’t have a website, b/ Those that did were not found on the first page of a search engine’s results.

    Nowadays more and more businesses have a “proper” online presence and have been around long enough to have a strategy and a good Google link rank.

    Then you factor in how Yellow Pages returns results that are skewed in favour of paid up companies (where Google “announce” them via “Sponsored links”). This has damaged the YP brand and people have deserted as they aren’t getting the best result.

    Oh and Telstra own them. Perhaps I should have opened with that πŸ˜›

    tom

  2. Even their advertising campaign gives away that they’re running scared about google. I may be paraphrasing but it went along the lines of ‘why use an international search for a local business’.

  3. Hi Cameron & ThomasR

    With an estimated 80-90% of Australians using Google, the fact that individual Yellow Pages businesses listings are not indexed on Google wouldn’t help either.

    And I can vouch for the fact that http://www.dLook.com.au is getting an increasing share πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the mention.

  4. I can confer with Meg. Zoomin gets healthy inwards traffic from G. G can turn that traffic off though.

    Whilst the closed model (yellowpages, realestate.com) can be criticised as not being search engine friendly they will innovate or loose audience as is being shown by the stats.

    The big complaints I get from people I ask in regards to yellowpages is
    * speed
    * lack of relevance (due mainly to marketing making decisions to allow the index to be compromised by premium listings where they don’t make sense)
    * reliability

    How many of you have tried dlook, true local ? What is the general feeling?

  5. Angus (and Meg), I heard about and tried dLook for the first time this morning and compared it with Yellow Pages. Now, I’m no fan of Sensis, and rarely use their online (or offline) services. But in comparison I think they won out. I searched for “hairdresser” and put in my postcode. Both sites returned accurate results. What put YP over dLook was the map integration. Meg, thought about putting Google Map integration into your site? The other *slight* negative in dLook’s favour was the amount of advertising on the site, making it extremely busy.

    As for Zoomin, I love your site Angus and I was actually in need of it recently but could not, for the LIFE of me, remember the name of it. I googled “maps australia” and didn’t find you in the first couple of pages of results. I ended up searching my gmail for about ten minutes until I found one from you with the url. It’s still a great site and I’ve added it now to my delicious so I don’t forget it again. πŸ™‚
    (http://del.icio.us/cameronreilly/maps)

  6. Hi Cameron

    You do make a valid point regarding the mapping and we are well towards integrating a mapping function into dLook (as well as other exciting enhancements). In regards to the advertising, I do agree that it looks busy – unfortunately we’re not quite rolling in the green stuff yet, and have to maximise revenue where we can. After much deliberation we have also added AdSense.

    What differentiates dLook from other directories is the ability to request (anonymous) quotes from up to 10 businesses at a time – so you could have found the cheapest haircut in town – all from your keyboard. Also the businesses are able to load discount coupons, which is a popular feature.

    To date, we are entirely self funded, so improvements haven’t happened as timely as we would like. That may well change shortly – watch this space.

    By the way, if you search for “map” on dLook – Zoomin is the first listing – could have saved you a lot of time…

  7. Meg, I know what running a start-up without funding is like, so I’m full of empathy! I do like the sound of the quote system you have set up but havent had a chance to try it yet. Maybe we should talk about a dLook – TPN relationship? Call me: 0400455334 or skype:cameronreilly

  8. Ò€œGoogle Schmoogle.Ò€

    Perfect Telstra-speak. This is what they failed- pursuing a dead model with with a deluded sense of their own talent and importance.

    thomasr

  9. I just tried dlook for the first time….I am looking to rent a bicycle for a bit. I put in bicycle rentals within 5km of 3000. It returned results for WA & QLD. I wont use again.

  10. Yeah I would have put my gmail account if I didnt want you to know that I do. I have an open mind & will often try the same search across many sites as a research exercise.

    The one with the most relevant result wins. I dont think people at their own company exclusively use their own products eg a producer at Realestate.com.au when buying a house would probably look at Domain?

    I am just saying dlook didnt give me relevant result. Unless I plan to be WA for the triathlon. Actually I am still trying to find a bicycle rental place near my work..no one is winning at this stage.

  11. Fair nuf Nikki. It still makes you kind of biased though. In future if you are negatively commenting on blog posts about products in competition to your employer, you *might* want to add a disclaimer – just a suggestion of course.

    As for dLook, I’m having the founders on G’Day World tonight. You might want to tune in!

  12. Hi Nikki

    The word “rental” is very common, which is why you have the opportunity to “refine your search”. So you can 1. Choose to “Search a more specific category” or 2. “Hide businesses that service this area but are not located in it” – which are clearly marked to the immediate right of the first listings displayed.

    Oh, and by the way – did you try the same search in the Yellow Pages Online? “bicycle rental” 3000? You get four results which are all for BOAT hire – and you suggest OUR results are irrelevant….

    http://www.yellowpages.com.au/search/postSearchEntry.do?clueType=0&clue=bicycle+rental&locationClue=3000&x=54&y=10
    http://www.dlook.com.au/search.php?category=1681&local=&what=Bicycles+%26+Equipment&who=&where=3000&range=5&page=&util=true

  13. Hi Nikki

    c’mon girl, you must have a come back for Meg. I checked the links on her reply and she is absolutely correct, but then I don’t work for Telstra so what do I know.

  14. We should keep this thread going. Did anyone notice just how many sponsored links there are too Sensis related sites at the top of this page!! dlook.com.au looks great, except for the constant presence of their dating ad. Kind of detracts from the site don’t you think?

    I am an extremely disgruntled Yellow Pages Online customer who was lured into a platinum advertising campaign by a cagey salesman. For the thousands of dollars spent we have a ROI of less than 2%. Right from the beginning they refused to provide me with visitor statistics for the last 8 months…interesting given the Alexa statistics!

    Yellow have made me feel like a sucker and I want revenge!! I may just have to kick the carcass a little too bring their ranking down even lower!!

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