Yellow Pages Group, which owns the yellow pages brand in Canada has launched a new, beta version of its site YellowPages.ca. Here's the current/old site and here's the new (beta) site. Obviously the new site is much more appealing. I haven't had time to test the results but here's the press release touting the improvements and benefits of the new site:
Instant gratification is the mantra of the YellowPages.ca development team, which is launching this beta version to obtain feedback on 95% of the features that will be incorporated into the final platform. New features include:
– Keyword search box lets users query with multiple keywords, brands, phone numbers and more
– Location search box allows users to search by landmark, region, postal code and more
– "Did you mean?" feature detects and corrects spelling errors that lead to ambiguity
– "Free call" feature instantaneously connects users by phone with queried merchants, using any type of telephone or network
– Tiered rankings help users identify national, regional and local players
– Online access to the entire database of Yellow PagesTM directories
– Refined search by brand, payment method, hours of operation and more
The key selling point of YellowPages.ca is its expanded universe of information. Not only does it provide information from publicly available URLs like other search engines, it also puts its proprietary data at the disposal of users, including business profiles, paid URLs, advertisements, menus, maps and more. YPG's face-to-face sales force differentiates it from other search engines, which cannot provide the same depth and accuracy of content.
YellowPages.ca provides content to both Google Maps/Local and MSN in Canada. Recently, YellowPages.ca purchased the assets of Trader Classified Media in Canada. The company also now owns numerous vertical domains in Canada and may launch a range of vertical search destinations. YellowPages.ca also owns and operates the text-to-speech, automated local search portal Hello Yellow.
Compared with many of its American counterparts, Yellow Pages Group is much more forward-thinking and aggressive.