Well I think the Google buying Yellow Pages rumor post stirred up enough controversy so let me explain why I think it would be a good fit.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page from Google called the other day and wanted to know how I would spend the $4B they will soon be getting (just kidding), but here’s what I would buy and what I would do.
First, I would buy the Yellow Pages or partner in a way that I could tap into that database.
That database represents an enormous untapped market for Google, the small business.
The lifeline to Google’s biz is getting more advertising from companies and people. Every Yellow Pages for every city is filled with small businesses that use this soon-to-be antiquated book for their only means of advertising.
Google is trying to digitize some of the largest libraries now. That’s great, but wouldn’t digitizing that 6 inch thick book doorstop be of more everyday use? I can see how getting THAT digitized could turn into a windfall for Google.
They should change the name from The Real Yellow Pages to the The Really Antiquated Yellow Pages.
So many of the listings in a YP are small businesses that can’t afford to design/host a website and don’t offer advertising beyond the county line. Here’s Google’s opportunity to completely dominate Internet advertising for all sized businesses.
I would then buy a web-hosting company and offer EVERY business in EVERY Yellow Pages a free website, provided they direct their Internet advertising through Google.
So many local searches just provide a phone number and a map. That all changes when Google provides a free website AND enters the biz into their database. Just like that, a tiny biz in Des Moines can display their goods/services to anyone in the world.
With Google Pages, Google Brings small businesses into the 21st century and taps into the 66% of what encompasses this country, small businesses.