Category Archives: Local Search Tips

My Conversation About Yellow Pages Transformation with Phoenix Group

Had the pleasure last week to spend 30-mins with David Bellerive and Kevin Hayes of the Phoenix Group chatting about local business challenges and the transformation that Yellow Pages Canada has been under going.

If you want to listen to the podcast, head over the Phoenix Group website and check it out.

[FIRST LOOK] Yahoo! Canada Integrates for Local Search

This is a first comparison of before and after screenshots of the new expanded relationship between Yahoo! Canada and Yellow Pages Group using YellowAPI to power Yahoo!’s local search in Canada. Yahoo and YPG have had a pretty long standing relationship in Canada that started with a customized version of built for Yahoo! users back in 2007. You can see this in action at Then Yellow Pages Group provided it basic listing data to Yahoo for Yahoo! local property which was located at (NOTE; this URL now redirects to Then last March – Yahoo! Canada integrated with YellowAPI to provide local results for its mobile users, you can see my blog post, [Screenshots] Yahoo Mobile Integrates with YellowAPI. And rolling out now is the new integration of YellowAPI powering the local search results in Yahoo! web search and with the links going to Yahoo’s customized version of

Click on any of the images below to see the full screenshot.

I also encourage you to visit and enter a local search query such as dentists in toronto, restaurants in calgary, etc. and play with this integration yourself.

Dentists in Toronto (Before)

Dentists in Toronto (After)

Restaurants in Calgary (Before)

Restaurants in Calgary (After) – Note the reviews, this is coming from YellowAPI

Lawyers in Montreal (Before)

Lawyers in Montreal (After)

Sushi in Vancouver (Before)

Sushi in Vancouver (After)

So what do you think of this new integration?

Local Business and YouTube – Canadian Success Stories

Over the past two years I have attended all the Kelsey Conferences, for those of you know familiar they conferences focus on the directional, vertical and local search markets in print and online. One common theme that has grown in popularity over the past 24-months is the emergence of video in the small to medium sized market.

I started to surf around YouTube to see if I could find local businesses in Canada taking advantage of this medium. One company, Oliver Jewellery in Toronto really jumped out as a local business who really gets this medium. Rate and review Oliver Jewellery in Toronto.

The first thing that impressed me was that one of his television commercials has been viewed over 42,000 times, has had 173 ratings, 277 text comments and been a favorite 415 times since January 1, 2008. To put this into perspective – I conducted a search for “toronto” in YouTube and this one video would have been within the top 400 videos which is pretty impressive considering this is a local business with one location on Eglington Avenue West competing with all types of videos under this particular search term.

Here is the Oliver Jewellery Commercial that I was referring to above:

The second thing that impressed me about this local business is the fact that his YouTube username channel has 11 videos uploaded including some self-promotion with WWF superstars and 76 subscribers.

This is a very good example of a local business taking their local television commercials and broadcasting them beyond the reach of the local television stations. All of this is good, but the key question is whether this is driving business. Regardless if it is or not this is a good example of cross-media mix for a local business.

The other big player in the local Canadian Small Business YouTube space is Yellow Pages Group with their branded YouTube Channel. Currently this channel has over 900 local videos with the top video from Yoga et Massage pour vous РMontréal with over 3000 video views since upload on September 20, 2008.


If you want your business listed in the YouTube Channel – check out the Showcase Bundle.

Interested in reading more about local video optimization – check out the following post at Praized Media “How to SEO Local Video Advertising“.

Local Search Tip #1 – 411411 SMS – Sushi by the CN Tower in Toronto

I have decided to start a new feature called Local Search Tip. Every other Sunday, I will post another way to get access to quality Canadian content. Most of these posts will be focused on different ways to retrieve Canadian business and person data, however, I will also profile ways to get other local content.

Local Search Tip #1 – 411411 SMS Service
– conducting a search for Sushi by the CN Tower

Let’s assume that you just spent the day touring downtown Toronto checking out the local sites and attractions and now you are interested in having some Sake and Maki Rolls. What to do?

One option is to use 411411 SMS service. The screenshots below are from the iphone, but the great feature of SMS services is that they work on any cellular phone. So what do you do?

First, enter your messages, type in 411411 in the number and type in sushi, cn tower. The format of the 411411 service is simple – what,where.

what=any keyword
where=any city, province or landmark


Hit send as in this example (note: your cell phone may have different prompts, so think of the 411411 service as having a conversation with a friend). This is going to ping the 411411 SMS service. Because the system has recognized the landmark CN Tower, it will display results based on proximity. In a second, some two seconds, your phone will ring or vibrate and you will be presented with the following:


It will display the first 3 listings of 9. You can always continue to search for more (reply back with M). My experience with SMS is that the best experience is when you know what you are looking for. NOTE: you may need to scroll on your phone to see the results, this will vary based on your cell phone.

So, looking at the results you think to yourself, I remember a friend telling me about ZAZOU. If you want their phone number or specific address, simply hit reply, enter 2 and hit send. You will get back more details on this specific business.


As you can see you are only 0.4km from the CN Tower. Now that you have the address and phone number, you can easily walk over and enjoy your rolls or call them to make a reservation.

Try the service – it works across Canada and is bilingual in French and English. It is also updated daily as changes occur in business listings across Canada so you know it is always accurate.

Behind the Scenes
Where do the results for this service come from. The 411411 SMS service is powered by and uses the same what/where search parameters. Here is the link to Sushi, CN Tower on – notice the first 3 results …