YellowPages.com Beta Site Much Better

SuperPages recently relaunched its site with a new design and usability improvements, and now AT&T’s YellowPages.com, which was recently named the fastest growing Internet yellow pages site by comScore, is about to roll out a new site with a dramatically improved design and user experience. (CORRECTION: It was the second fastest growing behind Yellow Book in the comScore data, as the comments below point out.)

Here’s the new beta site:

Yellowpages.com

Almost everything about the new site, which has some glitches still, is a substantial improvement. Compare, for example, “Japanese restaurants, San Francisco” on the current site vs. the beta site. The new site also features improved refinements and navigation, including by zip and neighborhood.

Years ago I said that the rise of Google was the best thing that could have happened to IYP sites and this YellowPages.com redesign is proof. Google, not the best local search site on the market, has forced everyone to get better and to focus on quality and usability to compete.

YellowPages.com, which used to be something of an “also ran” in terms of user experience now has a site that I can honestly say I would use more often. That’s what I told them on the phone yesterday.

AT&T’s directory/yellow pages division increasingly sees itself as a brand with a multi-platform mission, including print, Internet and mobile. Regarding the latter it now is offering text-based mobile search and WAP search. There are also plans for yellow pages on IPTV and potentially tighter integration with 1-800-YellowPages, AT&T’s ad-supported free directory assistance offering.

Given its reach, brand equity and quickly improving user experience, YellowPages.com is emerging as a formidable competitor in local search.

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15 Responses to “YellowPages.com Beta Site Much Better”

  1. AhmedF Says:

    To be honest, I think I like the previous one better. Having the design break in FireFox doesn’t help :)

    I think it with the new skyscraper on the side, things feel a bit more crammed to me. Also, the way the Send to Mobile, Map, Directions etc links were on the right side of each listing result made sense. Perhaps just me :)

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    The old home page was nice/fine but the results pages were horrible on the old site. I disagree and think that, while there are a bunch of bugs still, it’s much better than what was there before.

  3. Pat Says:

    Actually, comScore named yellowbook.com as the fastest growing IYP, not yellowpages.com.

  4. Hal Rucker Says:

    Go to yellowpages.com and do a search for “hot dogs” in San Mateo, CA. You get 3 results: Jeffrey’s Hamburgers and two sandwich shops in Belmont. And all of them are just basic address and phone number text info, with one set of ratings.

    Do a search for “hot dogs” at http://www.smalltown.com/sanmateo and you get more results and reviews, many of them include photos and other media. Included in the Smalltown listings are Jack’s Grill (the best place for Hot Dogs in San Mateo) and Windy City Pizza, that has hot dogs on it’s menu. And be sure to check out the video in the Windy City Pizza listing.

  5. AhmedF Says:

    Hal – comparing your approach (which has the luxury of adding individual meta data) to Yellowpages.com is like comparing a toy car to an 18 wheeler.

    Thing is, a site like yours is a cut. Yellowpages.com may die to ‘a thousand cuts’, but comparing the two on its merits is an exercise in futility.

    Until you cover the same area YellowPages.com with the same breadth displayed here, the comparison is an ill one indeed.

    [sorry my comment may come across as mean, but covering one community well has been done before. Many times before. And most have failed]

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    Pat:

    I stand corrected, it was Yellow Book’s 85% YoY growth beating out YellowPages.com’s 80% figure.

  7. Hal Rucker Says:

    Ahmed,

    Your point is well taken. Please keep in mind, though, that online yellow pages have been around a long time, but we launched less than a year ago. We have plans to enter the next stage of our growth soon, which is to replicate what we did in San Mateo many times in many areas. We plan to have similar breadth in a reasonable amount of time.

    I know, I know… lots of people have tried and failed. But that just makes it more fun to be innovative and push on to succeed ;-)

  8. AhmedF Says:

    Fair enough Hal :) Having worked with data on a ‘small’ scale (Toronto – ~4 million people), and then national on the US, I can appreciate the pain in the ass it is to get relevant (and accurate) meta data.

  9. The Southlander Says:

    To bad they didn’t have a more robust affiliate program. We would love to add them to our DOT-LA network.

  10. Andrew Shotland Says:

    If they launch the beta site as is they are headed for a major SEO disaster.

  11. Greg Sterling Says:

    I pray thee detail your concerns Andrew . .

  12. Andrew Shotland Says:

    Now that would ruining all the fun wouldn’t it? Actually it looks like they just have some preventative measures up while they are running the beta site along with the main site – wouldn’t want Google thinking you have two sites that are mostly duplicates. As long as they correct this when they switch over to the beta site they’ll be fine.

  13. AhmedF Says:

    I think they’ve done that already Andrew: http://ngs.yellowpages.com/robots.txt

    The URLs themselves are based on IDs, so they are slightly ‘stuffing’ the URL for SEO purposes:
    http://ngs.yellowpages.com/more-info-103423366/Mellow-Mushroom-Pizza-Bakers
    http://ngs.yellowpages.com/more-info-103423366/I-like-to-eat-gremlins

  14. Lenny Dykstra Says:

    YP.com is a joke. They think THEY will be bigger than Google in a few years??? How is that going to happen when they utilize Google’s SE for the majority if their searches. A bunch of arrogant people running an organization like a sweatshop. Wake up AT&T!! Do you even know what goes on inside yellowpaghes.com??

  15. Steven Says:

    From an advertisers point of view, I think this is a disaster. On the beta site the people who pay the most money and generally provide the most relevant content are stuck as “featured ads” which are displayed in a narrow banner looking ad on top and on the side. It is not cheap to get a featured listing, and yellow pages won’t be around for long when all the advertisers pull their ads, because of the low CTR.

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