Online local review sites are “the new Yellow Pages,” according to an article by Kermit Pattison this week in the New York Times. At face value, you’d probably think that I’d take exception to that statement, but actually, there’s some truth to it.
For starters, it’s true because Internet Yellow Pages sites are by their very nature local review sites. Online Yellow Pages sites (like SuperPages.com and YellowPages.com) offer users the ability to rate, comment on and review businesses across a long list of headings categories.
Additionally, many online review sites feed our local business data. In that way, you could say they are a “new” kind of Yellow Pages.
What’s most interesting is that search engines are mixing it up even more, taking our data and displaying it along with other information relevant to their users. Do a local search on Bing, and you’ll get sponsored listings from YellowPages.com, map/location content, data listings that we provide, and aggregated reviews from various sites – all in one spot.
There are a lot of things businesses can do to take some control of their online reputation. Pattison gave some good advice about businesses adding content to their profiles on local review sites and placing advertisements to generate attention. Helping local businesses do that has been a priority for us and I’d recommend that every business owner talk to their Yellow Pages sales rep about their Internet Yellow Pages profile. Many experts agree that Internet Yellow Pages sites play an extremely important role in search rankings. Yellow Pages reps can also provide helpful information on search engine optimization and other online marketing strategies as well. A solid reputation is something that any business can be proud of and that makes managing yours all the more important.