Yellow is the new black

Yellow Pages have put up a beta of their new website:

As previously noted they seem to have dropped the “pages” part of their name.

As far as I can tell, apart from a bit of lipstick, the site is the same old site we all don’t love:

It’s still just an online version of the printed directory. Most listings contain only a phone number and an address, not even a description of the business. You actually get more information from the hard-copy where at least they allow graphics etc (although you can view the ad from the printed directory by clicking on the ‘view ad’ link).

There is so much more useful information that businesses could include in their online listing. Imagine, for example, if they allowed restaurants to list their menu.

They don’t cater for browse dominant users. To view the category hierarchy I need to click a link and then I end up in a horrible control which lists every leaf category alphabetically.

Their category hierarchy continues to be a complete dogs breakfast. There are too many leaf categories and consequently the structure is too deep and too fragmented. The structure is also unbalanced. ‘Business Services’ is a top-level category – covering everything from ‘Accountants’ to ‘Security Guards’. ‘Funeral Arrangements’ is also a top-level category, although it has only seven sub-categories which hare all leaf categories.

I can’t list a new ad online. Hello?

The search is still way more complex than it needs to be. Google allows me to find any page on the whole internet using a single text box. That should be the benchmark. Really, who is going to search for businesses “within 100 kms”?

They’ve added “My Address Book” functionality, but don’t allow me to add comments. I’m completely disconnected from all of the other people searching on the site. Where is the “other people searching for this found these listings useful” functionality?

Oh well. Maybe in the next version?

5 thoughts on “Yellow is the new black”

  1. i’d copy and paste a link to show you but it’s POST’ing not GET’ing. i’m sure they will fix that before they leave beta.

    anyway, do a search for restaurants in wellington. it has a map, cuisine type and opening hours. not ground breaking but a start. i don’t *think* they currently have this on their live site?

  2. It even gives you hours that you can call a business. And on the map it shows you nearby ATMs and stuff.

    I disagree with the search being more complex than needs to. Considering you’ll be looking at the phone book most likely for local businesses, asking where you are searching for is good, and if you want to expand the search out a little it is in a “Refine Search” box to the left.

    A rather large improvement, but yes they should let you place ads online and allowing businesses to include text on the online ad (what a money maker!) would be better.

  3. I have had some communications with their Online Group Product Manager regarding the capability of their search systems prior to their launch date, for my possible involvement in consulting to them for ongoing development & improvement of the sites.

    Their system is pretty good, but I have pointed a few things to them so they could watch out for their local competitor(s) in which one is a start-up , just in case they (competitors) became aware of those technologies or functionalities (which they are’nt at the moment), because if their competitors would get into it first, their competitors would lure businesses who are listing with Yellow Pages into opposing business directory.

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