Business listings is a winner take all game right? After all – why would you have more than one set of Yellow Pages in your house? So Yellow’s purchase of Finda is a great move. Right?
Well not exactly. When was the last time you used Wises, Finda, Yellow Pages or UBD?
My answer is – I can’t remember.
On Monday I needed a Physio, and so I turned to Google and googled “physotherapist Wellington”. That was the actual spelling, and after clicking the “did you mean..” I got a nice summary of what was around, along with the regular search results:
From there I clicked through to a great map:
Where I found a couple of options, clucked through to their websites, chose one (Te Aro Physio) and was delighted by their service. (Really – I recommend them)
So I tried the same search on Wises. Again I made a typo – it wasn’t deliberate. What I got wasn’t exactly compelling:
So I slowed down, typed it correctly and got this:
Well useful, but clearly the Google results are better. Firstly the zoom level was automatically correct, and secondly the number of Physios reported was just 10, versus 38 for Google. Worst of all Te Aro Physio – a fairly sizeable outfit – was not on the list.
Next I tried Finda, slowing down my poor typing so that the auto-guess system could work. I got this list, showing 26 in Wellington Central and 49 in the region. No maps, but I just noticed that there is a display in maps function. That gives an OK view, once zoomed in (same as Wises) but again there is no Te Aro Physio. No wonder I was able to get a same day appointment.
For completeness I tried to use a paper Yellow Pages to find physios as well. But there does not seem to be one in the house. It’s not even my house – I’m borrowing high speed internet at my parent’s place right now – they are over 70 and have no paper yellow pages.
So I tried the Yellow Pages site. They found 36 Physios in Wellington City, an did include Te Aro Physio. They had a link to the website, and even offered directions. So good on them.
They had a map:
But that map was small, ugly, and the site covered in advertisements that moved around and it just doesn’t feel nice. It feels like a money grubbing commercial site, and that login button didn’t help.
I’ll be sticking to Google, and knowing them they will keep improving so that they stay ahead of everybody else.
Back to the deal. Yellow’s website seems to be ugly, but already better than those of Finda et al. Taking Finda and co out will reduce competition for classified advertising dollars, but unless Yellow keeps them alive I can’t see a lot of upside in Yellow Pages listing prices. It’s a recession people. Perhaps Yellow feels that they can get more advertising spend from the sites, especially by sharing listings. But we are near the end of days.
To me it’s a play that slows the inevitable doom for Yellow. The “goodness” of the deal comes down to the sale price, and sadly we are not hearing what that is. But I will give a hearty “Well Done” to APN, for exiting out of a dead market.