Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Google Pages

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.

Thoughts comments?


Anonymous said...

Well when they called me I told them they should buy Neomedia and take over as king of the hill. I still dont understand why they just laughed.
Seriously I like your idea about the small bus. website. That could really be interesting when the location based services become more available

Anonymous said...

Put this on a cell phone and give every small business a website. Now you have something!

Anonymous said...

More stinkin' spam above, PP!!

Would add a little interest if Infospace or Yahoo beat Google to the party on this one IMO...great idea PP.

Anonymous said...

Broadly, I agree it is a good idea. Online YPs have already offered websites to advertisers, just not for free.

I think, given Google's history of preferring scalable programmatic solutions, they might prefer to work on a crawler that can build a dynamically aggregated database, which we are already seeing on Google Local. It would have to work a lot better than it does now, but it would then be easier to roll out globally than having to buy multiple YP businesses.

This divide betweeen dynamic (usually open) and fixed (usually closed) databases online will also influence companies like 192, Infospace and Yell as they work out what to do over the next five years.

Taking the hosting idea on its own, I have never understood why Google have not already provided small business with free websites, a la Blogger (a bad example, given how bad Blogger's network is). It would work great for Froogle as well.

Anonymous said...

as a highly skilled rep in the yp industry..not with the other book..
i am here to tell you that the misinformed continue to say all of the wrong things...yp is not antiquated ever...customers who track( on my insistence) recieve 100 200 300 calls per month..

at a cost per call of 5 dollars or less it is the single cheapest way to reach a customer WHEN THEY ARE READY TO SPEND.....it matters not how many people use ..it always pays for itself..

Narayanan Ellango said...


I think Google offer for a free website including hosting shall help a lot of Small businesses a headstart...