comScore, Inc. , a leader in measuring the digital world, has released the results of a study into national Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) search activity, which revealed shifts among the top sites in 2007 — due in part to new strategic partnerships. The IYP search market leader in Q4 2007 was Yellowpages.com Network, which forged multiple partnerships this year with sites including Areaguides.net and 411.com, helping them take the top position in total IYP searches.
“In the highly competitive IYP search market, partnerships played a significant role in determining the 2007 landscape,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of comScore. “Yellowpages Network was one of the key beneficiaries of this strategy, since partnerships helped it secure a leading position in the market.”
Yellowpages and Superpages Each Capture 20 Percent IYP Search Market Share.
Yellowpages.com Network (20.2 percent share) edged out Superpages.com Network (20.0 percent share) in Q4 2007 to lead the IYP search market. Like Yellowpages, Superpages’ new partnerships provided a boost to its search activity, with the new Local.com relationship and the Infospace FindIt/Switchboard.com acquisition contributing to its gains. However, Superpages discontinued its affiliation with both 411.com and MSN Yellowpages, offsetting the positive impact of the new relationships. Although Superpages saw an increased number of total searches in 2007, it did not grow as fast as the market, and as a result its share fell slightly.
Certain top IYP providers experienced growth in 2007 by capitalizing on changes in their partner and affiliate relationships. Yellow Book Network, which more than doubled its share from 4 percent to nearly 9 percent, benefitted in part from its new relationship with Addresses.com. Microsoft Sites experienced an increase in IYP searches after it began redirecting searches to Microsoft Maps beginning in December, subsequent to the dissolution of its partnership with Superpages.
R.H. Donnelley, the only truly regional local search provider among the top 8 U.S. IYP sites, had a relatively modest national IYP search market share of 3.3 percent. However, within their 14-state region, they actually led the market in Q4 2007 with a 22-percent market share.
Several providers of local business search listings experienced substantial growth in the number of unique visitors from December 2006 to December 2007. Yellow Book Network and R.H. Donnelley saw traffic more than double, driven by a combination of new relationships and organic visitor growth. Contributing to growth at Yellow Book Network were partnerships with Infospace and Addresses.com, while R.H. Donnelley’s growth can be largely attributed to its acquisition of Business.com.