This article is referring to the Australian Yellow Pages but we would imagine that the business directories in other countries are going or have gone through a similar transition.
The number of people who use the Yellow Pages print directory less than once a month or don’t use it all has increased by 61% between 2002 and 2009. Roy Morgan Single Source Australia: December 2002 – 2009.
I know for myself, I’ve tossed the last few year’s worth of Yellow Pages into the recycle bin (they weren’t practical enough to use as door stops) every time they got delivered, and spared a brief thought for the tree that was needlessly sacrificed for this aging service.
Sure, there must be some people out there who still use the good ‘ol Yellow Pages to find some service. But for the growing majority, we prefer to let our fingers do the typing and let our search engines do the “walking”!
Granted, Yellow Pages does have an online presence, but it was only very recently they woke up to the fact that having to first click and choose whether you were doing a “business type search” or a “business name search” was one hoop too many for customers to jump through. So if you were trying to locate the phone number or address of a business you knew in a hurry, you might be left scratching your head why the business name you entered into didn’t show up – and that was because you didn’t notice the little radio check box “Search by business type” was ticked. So you did the quick and easier thing: just Google it. This American company not only returned results quicker, easier, more intuitively and more effectively than the Australian Yellow Pages, it also showed you the map and location, along with a photo of the street view if available.
Yellow Pages still currently charges extra to have additional information listed such as your website! As a result, even many of the businesses which do have websites aren’t listed by default on . Now if you were doing a search for a business on the Internet, is it highly probable that you’re looking for the company’s website? Guess Google wins again.
When will Yellow Pages wake up and complete the transition to online searching for online information?