Yellow Pages, Search Engines Tops for Business Info

December 17, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Local & Directories / Small Biz | Paid Search | Search Engine Optimization | Youth & Gen X

Nearly half of consumers say they still turn to print Yellow Pages most often to find information about a business or service, but they are increasingly using other forms of media to supplement these searches, according to a study from Knowledge Networks.

The study, “The Y Advantage: Landscape 2008,” examines eight key research platforms to determine how consumers are expanding beyond traditional print forms when seeking information about a business’s products and services.

It found that though 48% of consumers overall turn to the Yellow Pages most often, and 77% use print Yellow Pages,they? are also using search engines, internet Yellow Pages, mobile search, GPS, vertical sites, 411, and social networks to search for dentists, lawyers, pizza parlors and other types of businesses.


After print Yellow Pages, search engines (49%) are the second most-turned-to source, followed by internet Yellow Pages (36%), and free or fee-based 411 (30%).

Age Plays Role in Platform Selection

The survey found that the platform a consumer is likely to turn to first is heavily determined by age. For example, when looking for information on a business or service, those under age 35 index higher than the general population (age 13+) in use of search engines (157), while those over 35 skew to print Yellow Pages (113).


Surprisingly, teens are almost equally likely to have used a search engine (52%) or the print Yellow Pages (47%) to look for information or a phone number for a business service in the past 30 days.

Additional survey findings:

  • 47% of consumers have used a search engine in the past 30 days when searching for, compared with 64% for print Yellow Pages.
  • Search engines were deemed the “most useful” of the eight key platforms tested; they rated highest in satisfaction for being a free service, providing the right amount of information quickly, acting as a trusted resource, and providing relevant results
  • Users of mobile search – as compared with the other platforms – were most likely to see themselves as “opinion leaders” in their social groups (55%) and as early adopters of technologies (51%).

About the survey: The survey was conducted among 3,573 respondents ages 13+ nationwide on KnowledgePanel, an online consumer panel based on a scientifically valid sample of the US population.


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