Issue: Yellow Pages
Integrated into Search, IM Offerings
like everybody's got a "toolbar" these days. Within the past two weeks,
all the leading search providers have deployed or redeployed their own
Internet Explorer toolbars in a bid to gain or secure user loyalty. In
a similar development, AOL's next Instant Messenger (IM) will enable users
to access Yellow Pages and get stock quotes, news and local weather by
sending an instant message to a special automated screen name.
Of the four major
search toolbars Google, Yahoo!, Dogpile and Ask Jeeves Yahoo!
and Dogpile are promoting Yellow Pages as an explicit search category
(either via a pull-down menu item or button). Ask Jeeves indirectly provides
access to Yellow Pages listings (via Citysearch) through a "Search Events"
In the increasingly
competitive world of search, Yahoo! and InfoSpace, which owns Dogpile,
clearly see Yellow Pages as a differentiator. But whether this new "integration"
of Yellow Pages into search (and IM) will benefit Internet Yellow Pages
(IYP) as a category is uncertain.