Anyone who’s ever dialed a rotary phone or spent time untangling the hopeless snarl of a telephone cord has firsthand experience with using America’s original number one go-to search engine: the Yellow Pages. Printed on yellow paper through a fluke of materiel shortage, yellow pages were (and still are) voluminous commercial telephone directories organized by category that sold advertising to pay for their existence. Although the first generations of yellow page directories were produced by the telephone company providing the service to the region, as they grew in popularity other companies began to print competing directories, all under the auspices of “yellow pages.” Since neither the name “yellow pages” nor the walking fingers logo has never been trademarked in the U.S., they continue to be used by many different organizations. In fact, there are more than 8,000 Yellow Pages directories published throughout the United States by a number of different companies, including Verizon, Bell South, SBC, Sprint, Yellow Book, AT&T, and RH Donnelley.
Yellow Pages Online
Today many consumers turn to online versions of yellow pages, and as with the printed directories, there are a number of different providers all billing themselves as some form of yellow page services, including YP.com, Yellowbook, DexKnows, and SuperPages.
Far and away the leader of the pack in online yellow page directories is YP.com, a love child of Southwestern Bell, AT&T, and Cerberus Capital Management. YP’s flagship consumer brands include a popular app for mobile devices and YP.com, used by over 80 million consumers every month. YP also publishes 1,250 Real Yellow Pages directories around the country.
A product of British publishing giant HIBU – formerly Yell Group, Yellowbook.com is an online yellow pages directory focused on small and medium-sized businesses, available through desktop, smartphone, and other devices. As with other online directories, Yellowbook offers search engine marketing and display advertising through partnerships with Google, eBay, YouTube, AOL, and Facebook.
A product of publishing mega-giant Dex Media, DexKnows.com is a leading online directory offering both white pages and yellow pages along with DexKnowsLocal, a free Angie’s List type membership service offering ratings and reviews of all types of local businesses.
Published by Super Media Group, Superpages.com is an Australian-owned online yellow pages type directory focused on local businesses. Superpages offers coupons, maps, and videos to entice local consumers. The directory also offers a unique warranty of any products and services backed by their Super Guarantee service.
Since online yellow page directories are no longer yellow, nor printed on pages, why are they still called yellow pages? It could be an effort to appeal to the largest U.S. demographic, the baby boomer population, staunch users of yellow page directories and the last generation to use the rotary telephone.