Justin Sanger thinks Internet Yellow Pages are dead.
Even at they’re most basic, new local search applications provide a user experience superior to IYPs’. At their most advanced, they render IYPs to the status of Internet search on training wheels.
There’s a new, savvier local-Internet consumer emerging. Even late into the buying cycle, consumers are becoming aware that local search can do more for them than traditional print Yellow Pages or IYPs ever could.
So why don’t the IYPs simply reinvent themselves as new local search providers?
They’re trying to, and it’s like watching an elephant tap dance. Their goal is obvious: to provide a richer, more qualitative experience for local search users.
Internet users have been conditioned to utilize IYPs as a safe, familiar alternative to print Yellow Pages. This has been fueled by the power and reach of the IYPs’ parent brands, including SBC, Verizon, Bell South, and Dex.
To survive as a destination, IYPs must display more than flat business listings and advertisers in their result sets. They must better discern user intent. They require rich business descriptions, product and service summaries, maps, coupons, payment types, user reviews, and ratings.