Sunday, November 9, 2008

Google Telstra/Sensis deal on Yellow Pages advertising

As a Yellow Pages advertiser I read with some interest the press announcement regarding the search and online advertising deal between Google and Sensis deal. eg this ZdNet article.

Putting aside the usual uninformed comments there is little analysis of the real impact this partnership will have on the Australian search scene. From the terms of the deal that have been made public it is clear that the Yellow Pages business (a multi-billion dollar business in its own right) will continue to exist but will increasingly use Google technology for search but also to deliver advertisements to visitors to some Telstra sites (presumably under some kind of revenue sharing deal). There are clearly benefits to both organisations from the deal both strategic and financial.

But what benefit will this have for those who already advertise with Yellow Pages? Is there more or less of a reason to advertise with Yellow Pages as a result of the deal? It would appear that the previous deal between TrueLocal and Google has been superseded and come early next year you will be able to search for a term and have Google Maps results from Yellow Pages. This appears to be of benefit for Yellow Pages advertisers. My previous tip about getting your way to the top of the Google Maps listing (and onto page 1 of the search results) may not remain valid for long so use it soon!

Time will tell what other benefits there will be but on the face of it getting increased exposure for the same price seems like a win.

Now if only I could work out which Organic Google searches were from Google Maps we could see what benefit Google gets out of the deal. Everyone assumes the benefit is all one way but looking at how often ads are displayed on Google Maps I'd say Google would be pretty pleased to increase visitors to Google Maps.

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  1. Hi Ben - pleased to see you assessing the value of Sensis and Google's agreement.

    The benefit for Yellow advertisers is having their listing available to more people in more places. So early next year, their listings will be available on Google Maps at no extra cost to them.

    The benefit to users of Google Maps is they will have access to Yellow's listings - the most comprehensive business directory in the country.

    Hope that helps.


  2. I found this article which does describe a simple method of tracking the Google Maps generated traffic. I haven't tried it yet but I can't see any reason it wouldn't work. You'd just have to look up the results in Analytics. Alternatively, you could use a different URL/landing page that is unique to people coming from Google Maps.

  3. I have just noticed that the YellowPages results seem to be coming up in Google's search engine and have a fairly high ranking (eg only 2 spots beneath our main page for some searches).

  4. And the most official way of monitoring visitors on Google Maps is to go to the Google Local Business Center which shows the number of impressions and views in the last 30 days.

    I'm finding that I'm getting about 1 impression a day on a listing just on the map and about 5 impressions a day for a listing that is turning up on a category search (eg Perth Psychiatrist). You can certainly increase these rates by paying for an ad on Google Maps which makes your listing stand out when people are looking at your section of the map. However, from what I've observed a lot of people click it out of curiosity rather than genuine need.