26 Jul 2010

A Phone Book Delivery Inspired Post

Recently, here at Vertical Measures, we got a very special delivery: a SuperYellow Book. Wow, totally useful for an Internet marketing company like ours….I made a beeline for the recycling bin and promptly discarded it. It made me wonder though, do people actually still use the Yellow Pages to find local businesses? As someone who knows a little bit about local search marketing, I knew online local search has surged in recent years, but the exact numbers: not so much. Let’s examine the numbers.
Local Recycling YellowPages
Local Search Trends
Over the past few years local search sites have popped up all over the Internet. From Merchant Circle and Yelp, to Hot Frog and Google Maps, these sites help you find more than a business’s listing. Searchers can see detailed profiles for businesses: what customers are saying about a particular business, links to the company’s website, photos, video, and more. Basically: a Yellow Book on steroids (but not the bad kind of steroids, the natural, good, user generated content type of steroids).

Online users have flocked to local search portals to find more information about businesses. The numbers of monthly visitors are quite alarming. Below you’ll find a visual representation of the overall upward trend on some of the most popular local search sites.

(All figures below are courtesy of QuantCast.com)
Google Maps



Yelp Quantcast Photo

Yahoo Local




Understanding the Numbers

<center>Via Zany Pickle</center>

Via Zany Pickle

As you can see, the numbers and growth are pretty astounding in the world of local search. Businesses who don’t have a profile on any of the above sites could be missing out on a significant amount of traffic. An estimated 49 million users visit Google’s local search section monthly (Maps.Google.com). An up and coming star in the local search game is Yelp, with an estimated 9.9 million users visiting monthly. There’s no denying the fact that the trend to use local search engines continues to rise.

Even if your business doesn’t receive a lot of traffic from local areas, there are still benefits to having a listing. A link back to your site, for one, is a great benefit. In addition, having a place for your customers to go to rate your business, discover more information, and share more information about your business are just a couple reasons to put up that local profile.

Want more information about local search? Well lucky for you our very own Sarah and Jason presented on the very topic in this month’s webinar. Check it out on our SEO Webinars page.


  • Geary Interactive Jul 26, 2010

    Kaila, this is great, it made me laugh. Because I too relieved a big huge fat yellow book the other day and found it really laughable. Part of me laughs because as an online marketer I know how outdated yellow pages are. But part of me is pained to see so many trees killed and so many resources wasted on these darned things. It was such a HUGE and lucrative business back in the day, practically gouging local businesses but those businesses realizing how many people would find them through this book and therefore paying for it gladly! It was basically the equivalent of there only being one single local business directory online and that directory is where everyone goes to. Fortunately there are many places people can look online, as stated in the above. I loved the traffic comparison stats too, I never looked at these and that is good data to guide businesses in deciding what sites they should be advertising in!

  • Shannon Martian Jan 14, 2011

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!