MediaPost's Tameka Kee reports on the state of local online yellow pages, Internet 1Q Yellow Page Searches Surpass 800 Million: comScore. The upshot is what local merchants already know: the market is still immature.
With 800 million internet yellow page (IYP) search queries in the first three months of the year, consumers haven't settled on one clear leader. Yahoo currently holds a slight lead over Idearc Media (Superpages.com) and Yellowpages Network. Google, Yellow Book, Local.com and a score of others continue to make this a pitched battle for both the advertiser dollars and the consumer usefulness.
"There is no true leader in local search," said Stuart McKelvey, CEO of TMP Directional Marketing. "Consumers are making the transition from print to Internet, and the big media properties haven't figured out how to really deliver it yet."
Meanwhile, in other local advertising news, Media General saw a decline of 11% in online classifieds, partly offset by their recent partnership with Yahoo HotJobs. They also saw a 43% rise in local ad sales.
My word to local marketers trying to wend their way? Some of the hype you hear from ad sales people is "get real" because they put their need for growth above your need for results. Others want to learn what works as much as you do, and can be great partners for "real marketing."