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Comparing White Pages to Yellow Pages

There’s been quite a bit of coverage about recent decisions by telephone companies to stop automatic delivery of residential White Pages.

So the next logical question is should we continue to deliver the print Yellow Pages?

The answer is definitely – yes.

AT&T said that “Customers are a lot less reliant on the printed residential White Pages than they used to be.” An AT&T spokesperson said, for example, growing cell phone use has made the printed directory less relevant, since mobile numbers are not listed. Candisky said about 60 percent of telephone numbers in Ohio are for cell phones.

But Yellow Pages fill a different need than White Pages – the need for 8 out of 10 U.S. consumers to find local businesses in their community.

Of course, technology is also a driver in changing our behavior. We’re much more apt to use our mobile device as a directory now, storing numbers in our phones as we receive them.

But finding a local business usually requires us to look beyond our mobile contact list. For many, that’s a print directory with businesses categorized for easy search.

For others, it means a trip online – via our home computer or mobile browser – to an Internet Yellow Pages site or a search engine like Google or Yahoo! Local, which receive data feeds from Yellow Pages companies.

But the growing usage of online local search hasn’t eliminated the need for print directories. In fact, print Yellow Pages were referenced more than 12.3 billion times in 2008. And they are still one of the most effective ways for businesses to advertise.

Additionally, the Yellow Pages include business listings, government listings and a wide range of consumer information. Many people turn to the print Yellow Pages to get this information quickly when then need it.

So, let’s not mix apples and oranges, or in this case White and Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages continue to be a great way to connect buyers and sellers.

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