Charles Laughlin is presenting the results of consumer and industry surveys:

Consumer Survey:

They went through about a dozen IYPs and had people conduct local searches for pizza, pest control & chiropractor.

Here are some excerpts from the results:

Rating of IYP performance characteristics

Usefulness of ratings & reviews: 6.4

Average relevance of the ads: 4.6

Which IYPs Did You Like?

These IYP’s were those that they liked “fairly well”:


What Did You Like About Them?

This is hilarious.  Check the what they liked v. what they didn’t like:

What They Liked:  lots of info, accuracy, maps, easy to use, felt/looked local

What They Didn’t Like: inaccuracy, incomplete info, lack of easy linking to maps and directions, graphics boring

Survey of the TKG Community: personal usage by industry insiders

– 60% use search engine first

– 40% use IYP

– 22% use other local internet directory (e.g. Yelp)

What attributes matter to you?

Quantity of ratings/reviews is more important than quality but not as important as accuracy & usefulness.

Who is in the best position to win?

“No one at this point because no one is focused on the consumer.  The company that is wins.”

“Yellow Pages, based on sales force & content”


“Local/Vertical social recommendation sites and aggregators.”

“Publishers in ‘locked-in’ markets with low competition (e.g. Canada, Australia, France, etc.)”

“Those who focus purely on searhc will lose.  Discovery experiences will become more important”

Consumer Comments:

“eliminate obnoxious advertising like flashing ads”

“clear definition of paid advertising”

“Don’t have too much information”

“Better web site layout/Less clutter”

“Easy to locate search boxes”

“Use color when appropriate”

“Remember MY address”

Now we are watching a video of a focus group of genuine real live people from the heartland, hard-working Americans who are tired of the special interests controlling Washington…sorry wrong blog.

“I couldn’t find the map…it just irritated me to no end”

“Less tips and unrelated page filler”

“better review function”

ok the rest of the video was pretty generic – accuracy, layout, etc.  You get the picture.

Update: Now A Panel of Local Search Startups Are Commenting on the Data

Dave Ingram, Co-founder, 

“Seems like what the industry insiders are targeting is opposite of what users are saying”

Erron Silverstein, CEO & Founder, YellowBot 

“People have a voracious appetite for features that don’t even exist yet” 

“We need to work with the companies who have all of the advertisers so that we can take their unique data into our systems (e.g. coupons, sales, etc.) so that users can find them”

“We let users tag any business any way they want which destroys taxonomy.  An organized category structure helps advertisers but doesn’t help users.  The tag “dim sum” is far more effective than “chinese restaurant”.  THIS IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT POINT SEO-WISE THAT HAS BEEN MADE AT THIS CONFERENCE.  SEE YELLOWBOT SEO ANALYSIS.

“I am generally anti-standardization but I’d like to see generic standards like definitions of length (e.g. this is a mobile result, this is a summary of a review, etc.).”

Morgan Zimmerman, VP Business Development, Exalead

“Yellow Pages need to leverage their existing data with all of the enhanced data that is being created by users on the Web”

“The only way to provide a great user experience is to standardize the data (I think he means across all directories)”


Share This Story!

About Author

2 Response Comments

  • Matt  September 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Great post, thanks.

    What stood out to me most is the almost exact symetry of what people liked and didn’t like; users want complete information, accuracy, with clear maps on an easily accesible and navigable site.

    It sounds simple, but is anything but the universal experience.

    Our aim has been very close to that with and the soon to launch, but I will get the whole team to read this article to drive the point home.


  • Jared Tomlin  October 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Good post, we didn’t get to make it this year so i was wondering what they had to say. Seems the need of reviews is pretty apparent even more than last year.