I was intrigued to discover a copy of the Yellow Pages sitting on my doorstep this morning.
Intrigued because I can’t quite believe it’s still economically viable to print and distribute so much free paper. Particularly given the fact that most people transfer the book directly from their doorsteps to the recycling bin.
We can only assume that they still sell enough ads to plumbers and the like to make it worth their while. But we all know that as a business model for advertisers, the Yellow Pages have been almost entirely supplanted by Google (Yellow Pages’ online version, Yell, was simply too late onto the scene).
It’s interesting to note that neither Google’s search results nor their AdWords offer anything more to advertisers than the Yellow Pages used to – other than an instant connection to your website.
“Most people transfer the book directly from their doorsteps to the recycling bin”
In fact, Google’s business model is brilliantly designed to give Google more, while giving you less:
- Less control over where your listing appears in the search results, thanks to Google’s opaque search algorithms
- Less space to advertise your products or to differentiate your service
- Less certainty over how much you’ll end up paying for what is effectively classified advertising
But, you know, progress and all that …
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