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IYP SEO Rankings 2009 Part II: Which Yellow Pages Sites Should You Use For Which Categories?

October 5th, 2009
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In August, I published my initial findings on which Internet Yellow Pages sites (IYP’s) did the best in ranking for organic Web results for searches in the top 20 U.S. cities for the top 20 yellow pages category searches. I won’t go into the entire methodology, flaws and all, here. If you’re interested in all that, check out IYP SEO Rankings 2009.

For this post I looked at how IYP’s ranked for the different local category searches (e.g. “Los Angeles Restaurants”) with the intent of providing some insight to local search marketers who are trying to consider which IYP might be the best marketing vehicle for their business. I have also provided some data on which other website types might be good for them to consider based on how often these types showed up in the organic results.

Warning: These are just a snapshot taken during the time we did the research. The rankings may have changed significantly. And there are a billion other problems with the data, but hey I am blogger so I feel free to hold myself to a low standard.

Based on the data overload below I was able to divide the categories into Strong, Medium and Weak in terms of how effective the IYPs as a domain type are. Strong indicates that you should consider using the IYPs as an important part of your SEO arsenal. Weak means not so much.

Here’s the summary data:

Strong IYP Categories
Auto Parts
Auto Repair
Beauty Salon
Department Store
Doctor
Insurance
Pharmacy
Pizza
Plumber
Restaurant
Tire Dealer
Veterinarian

Medium IYP Categories
Bank
Dentist
Florist

Weak IYP Categories
Attorney
Car Dealer
Hospital
Hotel
Theater

More detailed data on each category that you will in now way be able to assimilate unless you are a total geek after the jump (apologies for the crappy formatting – will fix it when I need some busy work):

Attorney
This is a surprisingly weak category for IYPs. Local businesses and verticals dominate. My guess is that Attorneys were early adopters of search engine marketing techniques.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 1.1

2. AreaConnect 0.5

3. YellowPages.com 0.3

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 47%

2. Vertical 25%

3. Local Vertical 13%

4. Gov 7%

5. Article 4%

6. IYP 3%

7. Unrelated 2%

8. LYP 1%

Auto Parts

IYPs are a dominant factor, but among IYPs only SuperPages is really strong.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 11.0

2. InsiderPages 3.6

3. Yelp 1.0

4. 411.com 0.9

5. GetFave.com 0.8

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 45%

2. Vertical 22%

3. Local Biz 15%

4. LYP 10%

5. Natl Chain 5%

6. Local Vertical 4%

7. Article 1%

Auto Repair
One of the strongest categories for IYPs.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Superpages 10.1

2. Yelp 7.4

3. CitySearch 7.4

4. InsiderPages 4.7

5. Yellowpages.com 1.3

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 55%

2. Local Biz 18%

3. Vertical 11%

4. LYP 10%

5. Local Vertical 4%

6. Article 1%

7. Unrelated 1%

8. Gov 1%

Bank

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Yahoo Local 2.6

2. SuperPages 0.8

3. BizJournals 0.8

4. YellowPages.com 0.6

5. MerchantCircle 0.4

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 31%

2. Vertical 19%

3. Article 16%

4. Unrelated 11%

5. IYP 11%

6. Gov 7%

7. Local Vertical 2%

8. Natl Chain 2%

9. LYP 1%

10 Social 1%

11 Edu 1%

Beauty Salon
Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. CitySearch 11.3

2. Yelp 6.3

3. SuperPages 3.4

4. Yellowpages.com 0.5

5. Yahoo Local 0.5

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

IYP 37%

2. Local Biz 32%

3. Vertical 20%

4. Article 5%

5. LYP 3%

6. Local Vertical 3%

7. Unrelated 1%

8. Natl Chain 1%

Car Dealer
Local Businesses and Verticals dominate. IYPs are not a big factor.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Yelp 1.0

2. CitySearch 0.8

3. Yahoo Local 0.4

4. Yellowpages.com 0.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Vertical 41%

2. Local Biz 37%

3. IYP 7%

4. LYP 6%

5. Local Vertical 6%

6. Article 4%

Dentist
Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 4.9

2. Yelp 2.8

3. Yellowpages.com 0.8

4. Switchboard 0.6

5. InsiderPages 0.6

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 60%

2. Vertical 16%

3. IYP 16%

4. Local Vertical 5%

5. School 3%

6. LYP 1%

7. Article 1%

Department Store
Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 8.0

2. Yahoo Local 7.3

3. Yelp 5.7

4. CitySearch 3.6

5. Yellowpages.com 3.0

SERPs Presence by Site Type:*

1. IYP 65%

2. LYP 12%

3. Article 7%

4. Natl Chain 7%

5. Unrelated 4%

6. Local Biz 3%

7. Vertical 2%

8. Local Vertical 2%

Doctor
IYPs are a big factor in this category bit no one IYP dominates. This is one of the only categories where Articles have a significant share of the SERPs.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Superpages 6.7

2. Citysearch 4.0

3. Areaconnect 3.5

4. BizJournals 3.5

5. InsiderPages 3.1

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 35%

2. Article 22%

3. Local Biz 15%

4. Vertical 15%

5. Unrelated 7%

6. Local Vertical 3%

7. LYP 2%

8. Gov 2%

9. Edu 2%

Florist
IYPs are not big players here. Interestingly Local Businesses seem to dominate.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. CitySearch 2.0

2. SuperPages 1.9

3. Yahoo Local 0.7

4. Yelp 0.6

5. InsiderPages 0.5

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 63%

2. Vertical 21%

3. IYP 13%

4. Article 3%

5. Local Vertical 1%

Hospital

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. GetFave.com 0.2

2. Yahoo Local 0.1

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 78%

2. Article 12%

3. Vertical 3%

4. Local Vertical 3%

5. Natl Chain 2%

6. IYP 1%

7. Edu 1%

8. Social 1%

9. Gov 1%

Hotel

Probably the weakest category for IYPs. Dominated by chains & vertical engines such as TripAdvisor & Hotels.com.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Yahoo Local 0.5

2. Yelp 0.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Natl Chain 52%

2. Vertical 25%

3. Local Biz 16%

4. LYP 4%

5. IYP 3%

6. Article 1%

7. Gov 1%

8. Unrelated 1%

9. Edu 1%

Insurance

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. BizJournals 3.0

2. Yahoo Local 2.3

3. Switchboard 1.7

4. InsiderPages 1.6

5. SuperPages 1.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 41%

2. IYP 25%

3. Vertical 13%

4. LYP 6%

5. Article 6%

6. Local Vertical 4%

7. Gov 3%

8. Natl Chain 2%

9. Edu 1%

10.Unrelated 1%

Pizza

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. CitySearch 11.8

2. Yelp 8.0

3. Yahoo Local 6.2

4. Yellowpages.com 1.4

5. Superpages 0.9

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 43%

2. Local Biz 23%

3. Vertical 16%

4. Article 11%

5. LYP 4%

6. Local Vertical 3%

7. Natl Chain 1%

8. Unrelated 1%

Plumber

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 8.2

2. CitySearch 3.5

3. Yelp 2.0

4. MagicYellow 1.8

5. InsiderPages 0.7

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 33%

2. IYP 29%

3. Vertical 22%

4. LYP 6%

5. Natl Chain 5%

6. Local Vertical 4%

7. Article 2%

8. Unrelated 1%

Pharmacy

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 9.9

2. Yellowpages.com 5.7

3. CitySearch 2.8

4. Yahoo Local 1.9

5. Yelp 1.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 42%

2. Local Biz 14%

3. Edu 12%

4. Vertical 10%

5. LYP 7%

6. Article 5%

7. Local Vertical 5%

8. Gov 4%

9. Unrelated 3%

10.Natl Chain 1%

Restaurant
I would have thought that Yelp would have performed stronger here. CitySearch is clearly dominating this category. National verticals such as AllMenus are also important players here. IYPs are a key component of the organic results, but by no means the only outlet that matters.

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. CitySearch 9.2

2. Yelp 1.5

3. Discoverourtown 1.3

4. Yahoo Local 0.5

5. Everyblock 0.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Vertical 26%

2. IYP 18%

3. LYP 15%

4. Local Biz 15%

5. Article 14%

6. Local Vertical 9%

7. Unrelated 4%

8. Gov 1%

Veterinarian

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. Yelp 5.5

2. CitySearch 5.2

3. Yahoo Local 1.2

4. MagicYellow 1.0

5. Kudzu.com 0.6

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 35%

2. IYP 34%

3. Vertical 15%

4. Local Vertical 8%

5. LYP 3%

6. Article 2%

7. Edu 1%

8. Unrelated 1%

9. Social 1%

10.Video 1%

Theater

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. SuperPages 0.3

2. Yellowbot 0.2

3. Yahoo Local 0.2

4. BizJournals 0.2

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. Local Biz 52%

2. Local Vertical 19%

3. Vertical 12%

4. Article 9%

5. LYP 4%

6. IYP 2%

7. Gov 1%

8. Edu 1%

9. Social 1%

10.Unrelated 1%

11.Natl Chain 1%

Tire Dealer

Top IYPs & Total Scores:*

1. InsiderPages 8.2

2. CitySearch 4.1

3. SuperPages 3.3

4. MagicYellow 2.4

5. Switchboard 2.3

SERPs Presence by Site Type:**

1. IYP 56%

2. Local Biz 15%

3. LYP 10%

4. Local Vertical 9%

5. Natl Chain 4%

6. Gov 3%

7. Vertical 3%

8. Article 1%

* Scores were computed based on the rank of each URL for a domain in the SERPs. For example if a domain ranked #1 for a query it would get a score of 10. If it ranked #2 it would get a score of 9 and so on. The scores for each category+city query were totaled and then divided by 20. A score greater than 10 indicates that a site has multiple URLs ranking for several queries.

** Site Types were defined as follows: IYP=National Internet Yellow Pages; Local Biz=SMB website; LYP=Local Yellow Pages (e.g. a yellow pages site for a single city); Vertical=National vertical site such as AllMenus.com;Local Vertical=vertical for a single city; Natl Chain (e.g. Home Depot); Gov=government site; Article; Video=video site; Social=social net such as LinkedIn or Facebook; Unrelated=nothing to do with query.


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