Once upon a time there was a large, yellow book that contained directories and ads for local businesses.  Most consumers would refer to this book when looking for any particular service or product.  Businesses fought over priority placement in their industry’s category to increase their chances of their consumer calling them first… This story sounds very similar to an offline version of marketing on search engines!  In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the similarities between the yellow pages and search engines (specifically Google) and the differences that make search engines more effective.

Comparison 1:

Yellow Pages – Consumers would find a business by looking under the category of the product or service they needed.  For example:  A home owner looking for a plumber would turn to the Plumber classification in the yellow pages.

Google – Consumers use Google and other search engines to find businesses that provide the service or product they need.  For example: A home owner in Maryland looking for a plumber would enter “plumbing company in Maryland” or a related query into the search engine which would return an extensive list of relative results.  (or in our case “Website Design Baltimore” )

The difference – Google is much easier to use.  It takes seconds to conduct a search using Google versus several minutes flipping through pages in the yellow pages.  Not only using Google is easier but provides more relevant results.  Google’s search results are updated on a daily basis whereas the yellow pages are updated once a year.

Comparison 2:

Yellow Pages – Consumers use the Yellow Pages to check the telephone number and/or address of a business they’ve heard through word of mouth or advertising.

Google – Consumers can use Google places/maps to find telephone and address information for businesses.

The difference – Within Google places/maps, consumers can easily get directions to and from the business as well as read reviews from past customers about their experience with the business. Google places are conveniently assessable though mobile, making it easy to find a business on the go.

Comparison 3:

Yellow Pages – When advertising with the Yellow Pages, businesses would want to be listed under their industry category as well as sub categories.  For example: A Chinese restaurant would want to be listed under Restaurants as well as Chinese Restaurants, Foreign Cuisine, Oriental Restaurants,  Take-out Food, Fast Food, or similar sub-classifications.

Google – Businesses look to appear for a variety of keyword phrases in search engine results that are relevant to the services they provide.

The difference – A business can appear for many more searches phrases compared to categories in the yellow pages.


See the similarities?