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SEO thinks ONLINE instead of Paper!

April 5, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

Yup, I’m thinking that maybe — just maybe, my own thoughts and thinking on whether or not the Yellow Pages are dead — is a bit premature!

Seems that the YP group, has commissioned a recent study by the research folks over at Burke and comscore, that is showing that the total number of yellow page paper and online requests hit 16.9 BILLION searches. That’s about 46 million searches a day or 1.9 million searches an hour, eh…and that’s a LOT of searching!

So what, you’re asking? Well, my point is not that total number of searches, but in fact what % was online versus what % was a paper yellow pages search…and it’s these numbers that have me a bit – well — a bit curious!

You see, the report clearly states this –

  • comScore found that Internet Yellow Pages continued to chart growth, increasing from 4.6 billion in 2008 to 4.9 billion references in 2009.
  • Burke, relying on the new methodology combining Internet and telephone surveys for the first time, found that print Yellow Pages received 12 billion references in 2009.
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    You reading this like I am will mean that the paper yellow pages searches outnumber the online ones by about 3 to 1…ie about evertime I search for something online in the yellow pages, there are three other folks using the paper yellow pages….and that’s what has me curious. Why is that?

    Maybe it’s our client roster. Maybe it’s my family, friends and all my online social friends too, maybe it’s my age….but after asking pretty much everyone I know, not a one uses the paper yellow pages still. Not a one. Not occasionally. Not seldom. Not ever. Anymore. Not a single one. Everything is done online via their desktop or laptop or smartphone…but never ever via paper!

    So, if my own research shows that paper is dead…how come Burke, who were the marketing firm who surveyed over 8k respondents got such a high response rate of paper yellow page searches? That’s the part I don’t understand. Course, I did nod my head, when I found that only 20% of those 8000 queries were done through a phoned survey and the other 6000 were done via online forms….that made me once again, proud to be an online-kind-of-guy. But that was only a small smile, I had….as the vast difference between what I see here in our own region is not showing up similarily on a national basis.

    So let me ask you all….which do you use — either the paper yellow pages or online yellow pages when you need to look up something? Please just post your own comments here below – and if you’ve friends/family/client research on same, just add that here too!

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