Why Yellowpages.com Paid $3.85MM for YP.com

December 30th, 2008

According to TechCrunch, AT&T’s Yellowpages.com paid $3,850,000 for the YP.com domain when they purchased it from LiveDeal last month.  Here’s the SEC filing.

So what does this mean for you?  My guess is there was not a lot to the YP.com domain other than its ability to rank for different searches around the term “yellow pages”.

Here’s some data from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for the avg. monthly search volume, cpc and est Google Rank of Yp.com for some of these terms:

yellow pages                     6,120,000, $0.72, 16

yellowpages                      1,000,000, $0.54, 10

yellowpages.com                450,000, $0.51, 11

yp                                               301,000, $0.59,   1

yellow page                           165,000, $1.01, 12

www yellowpages                135,000, $0.60,   5

www yellowpages com       110,000, $0.55,   5

Assuming YP.com can get 1% of the monthly clicks from Google for these terms, these seven keywords alone could be producing more than $700K/yr in value to Yellowpages.com.  On top of this I would expect to see some additional benefit to Yellowpages.com from linking from YP.com.  I haven’t read the filing, but if YP.com had any kind of revenue/advertiser base, then this seems like a no-brainer deal for AT&T.

So what does this mean for you?

If you are reading this blog you likely are involved with a site that has the ability to rank for similar terms as YP.com either at a local or national level.  The reason why local search is attracting so many players is because it consistently generates some of the highest CPMs in the business due to the targeted nature of the content/users.  Compare this to the CPMs you could get on Facebook.  Whether you are a national, regional or local player, there is still huge amount of this keyword territory that has yet to be staked out.  What are you waiting for?

Tags: Local Search · SEO M&A · Yellow Pages · Yellowpages.com

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Will Scott

    Through a stroke of (mis) fortune I happen to own quite a few [city]yp.com domains.

    Finally, a way to monetize them!



  • 2 Mark

    Why doesn’t YP.com 301 to YellowPages.com? Isn’t this a duplicate content issue & page rank splitting issue?



    Maybe they should have saved some of the budget for SEO consulting :)

  • 3 YP.com’s 10K Video Profiles (Ads) « Screenwerk

    [...] Related: Andrew Shotland offers his rationale for why AT&T paid $3.5 million for the YP.com domain. [...]

  • 4 Jason


    User-Agent: *
    Disallow: /

    … interesting “strategy”

  • 5 Andrew Shotland

    As my astute readers have noted there are a number of SEO issues with the takeover of YP.com. Yellowpages.com is aware of these issues but I think they have bigger fish to fry than to deal with these things at this point.

  • 6 Andrew Shotland

    Commenters on some other sites have opined that this transaction may be solely so they can have short, intuitive URL for mobile searchers. Given the short shrift they are giving the SEO for the site, that could in fact be the case.

  • 7 accord

    Wow, that’s a lot of money.
    Is it worth it?

  • 8 Jack

    The acquisition of YP.com I find very very interesting. At this point, AT&T pretty much owns everything thats YellowPages (ie: YellowPages.com, YP.com, 1-800-YellowPages, 888, 877, 866 as well). Theres 1 last player left that I came across a few months ago thats getting a free ride off AT&T’s YellowPages brand, http://www.YellowPages.travel. Anyone know anything about them?

  • 9 Chris Silver Smith

    Okay, so I just wrote about this, and I think it was huge waste!

    While locally-oriented domains are a good investment, “yellow pages” oriented domains are not, simply based upon the eroding traffic to the “yellow pages” search phrase.

    It appears AT&T did this strictly for the immediate traffic value, since they’re now entirely redirecting to yellowpages.com. However, that’s a short-range strategy in my book, because the individual traffic value of that domain erodes very quickly when it is all redirected in this way.

  • 10 David Rodecker

    Andrew; do you know if the transaction included YP.com’s assets?

    YP had offices in Arizona, employees, technology, and a client base. The value of just the domain might be substantially less. Nevertheless, LiveDeal still appears to operate YP.Net and YPCorp.com.

  • 11 Andrew Shotland

    No clue.

  • 12 AhmedF

    It did not include the assets.

  • 13 Dan Lester

    I wander whether http://www.жс.com
    will ever fetch anything comparable to YP.
    жс.com stands for YP in Russian

  • 14 Eric

    Why is anyone worrying about the word yellow pages. The word is flat out dying.

    However, I think they like yp.com because it is short and they can cram more local search terms in the urls.

  • 15 Former YP

    As a former employee of YP.com I can assure it did not include the assets. The office is closed and the employees work elsewhere now.

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