Category Archives: Yellow Pages

Posts related to the Yellow Pages or Local Search Industry

Google Premium SMB Partner in Canada and my LifeinYellow.ca Guest Blog Post on Partnerships

2013 has been a great start for YPG again and my role as head of business development. We closed off 2012 with a landmark deal with Yahoo to power their local search, “[FIRST LOOK] Yahoo! Canada Integrates YellowAPI.com for Local Search” and have started off 2013 expanding that relationship along with a number of new deals that are at various stages of completion.

One such deal is our recent announcement to become Canada’s largest Premium SMB Partner of Google in Canada. We are now the only partner of Google who services businesses in every province in Canada and in both official languages which is pretty cool. You can read the official press release, “Yellow Pages Group Selected by Google as an AdWords Premier Partner for Small Businesses“.

As part of this announcement I have done a guest post on LifeInYellow.ca titled; Investing in Partnerships That Benefit Our Small Business Clients. In this post I talk about the importance of a robust partner eco-system to ensure that we get SMB information in front of as many consumers as possible.

Click on the link about or the image below to read my latest post.

The YPG Canada partner eco-system to ensure that Canadian SMB's get as much exposure to consumers as possible.

The YPG Canada partner eco-system to ensure that Canadian SMB’s get as much exposure to consumers as possible.

Holy Data Harmonization Batman : What Does That Mean Again?

This is a follow-up post (I am few months behind actually getting this post up) to an announcement we made in 2011 with our data harmonization deal with FourSquare. Since that time we have done the same thing with OpenTable and TripAdvisor and have launched an internal DealsAPI (soon to be public, check out our DEALS API page) which aggregates local deals.

So what is data harmonization. In a nutshell, it is matching two separate databases and matching the records that are the same. In the case of local, its about mapping business “A” in one database to the same business “A” in the second database. Google was one of the first real data matching pioneers when they were aggregating local content from many sources into their place pages (remember those good old days).

What is really more important is the output of doing this. The output of matching data boils down to a creating a better and more robust user experience by combining presenting information from multiple sources to help users make better decisions.

So in practice here is what the end product looks like.

Let’s take a look at Tipperary’s Pub on YellowPages.ca. As an aside; if you like thick crust pizza, this is one of the best places in Calgary.

Here is an image of the standard information you would expect; name, address, map. Notice right above the map on the right hand side is the first indication that this listing has additional content from TripAdvisor.

When you scroll down the page the user has a couple of sources of reviews to look at. Reviews that comes from YellowPages.ca users and reviews that come from TripAdvisor

To the right hand side on the page, the user also has the ability to look at tips and who has checked into this location courtesy of FourSquare.

The mobile experience is the same thing. If you want to check out the Tipperary Pub mobile page.

On this page you will notice the reviews from TripAdvisor, checkins/tips from FourSquare as well as the photos from FourSquare.

So what’s next.

We are working on bringing more of these content partnerships into place. Soon we will be opening up the ID’s of our partner venue’s through YellowAPI which will then make it super easy for developers to mash up content just like we did on YellowPages.ca. If you have local content that can be mapped to a specific location in Canada that you think might be useful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

[FIRST LOOK] Yahoo! Canada Integrates YellowAPI.com 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 YellowPages.ca built for Yahoo! users back in 2007. You can see this in action at Yahoo.YellowPages.ca. Then Yellow Pages Group provided it basic listing data to Yahoo for Yahoo! local property which was located at Ca.Local.Yahoo.com (NOTE; this URL now redirects to yahoo.yellowpages.ca). 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 YellowPages.ca.

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

I also encourage you to visit Yahoo.ca 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?

My Kelsey Presentation From September: Yellow API: A New ‘Open’ Model for Directory Content

I am a little late in posting this, however after I got back from Kelsey Conference in Denver, Colorado I ended up getting pretty sick that knocked me out for a few weeks. I am back on the mend.

Alot of people have been asking me for the a copy of the presentation. I have added the presentation to SlideShare, which you can flip through below. I also have an audio recording of the presentation and the Q&A with Matt Booth after the presentation about our API Strategy.

The event itself was probably one of the best Kelsey’s that I have attended. The quality of the speakers was quite good. Typically the DMS conference at Kelsey tends to be more focused on the Yellow Pages industry with a slant towards the print side of the business. This conference really had a very good blend of the traditional side of local along with a strong digital focus. The next Kelsey event in December, in San Francisco (Interactive Local Media West) will be even better as this is the key event for anybody in the local digital space to attend. I will be attending if you are interested in meeting.

The best presentation of the show was the SuperForum: The Social-Driven SMB: Part IV: Social Advertising Case Studies. This was a panel with Will Scott, President, Search Influence and Marty Weintraub, CEO, aimClear. The description of this panel is, “There is no shortage of platitudes about how SMBs are embracing social media. Here, we’ll share real case studies of how small-business advertisers have mastered the art of turning fans and friends into paying customers”. This panel was incredibly dynamic, Marty had an energy level that is contagious and the content of the presentation and the case studies they shared are absolutely incredible. If you really want to understand social marketing you need to check this out.

Now you can download the presentations of this event at the Kelsey Site. If you want to see all the presentations in video format you can purchase access for $199 at the VueTorial.

Darby SIeben and Matt Booth on Stage at Kelsey DMS 11 in Denver Colorado

Below are 2 presentation links. First is the audio portion of the presentation and underneath it is the slideshare slides.

In the audio portion it starts off with Matt Booth giving some details on the state of the market and the challenge for publishers. You can download his slides here.

At the 2 min mark of the audio is when my presentation starts that corresponds to the SlideShare presetnation below.

[wpaudio url=”https://www.darby.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/11_kelsey_dms_09.mp3″ text=”Listen to the Audio Version of YellowAPI Presentation at Kelsey DMS 2011 in Denver” dl=”0″]

Here is the SlideShare version of my presentation at Kelsey DMS11.

Data Harmonization: FourSquare and YPG Canada Round-Up

One of the latest deals to get announced by YPG Canada was 2 days ago with FourSquare, “Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Announces Strategic Agreement with foursquare“. Over the past 48-hours, I have definitely been receiving lots of positive feedback, but a few people have asked me the question – what does this specifically mean for YPG advertisers? Before explaining how this benefits YPG Advertisers, let me explain the deal itself. I am going to grossly simplify this, but in a nutshell, harmonization of data really means connecting the IDs of venue’s listed in FourSquare.com to venue’s listed on YP.ca. Once the IDs are connected, then YPG and any developer using YellowAPI.com can use 1 ID to interface with 2 APIs. Further to our announcement last year with Twitter, in face, usage of the YPG ID is also mapped to venue’s within Twitter, check out “Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Partners with Twitter“.

Why is this important for YPG advertisers? In a nutshell, it means more leads and more business. How is this you might ask? Two things – 1) with the synchronization of venue IDs, you have a scalable way to push future enhanced content to multiple external sources and 2) by adding more value to YellowAPI.com, ie) making developers lives easier, we will see more innovation in the local space which means as more and more applications are created to fulfill user needs, more and more leads will be delivered to local advertisers. In this scenario, the user wins (they have more choices of how they want to interact with local), the developer wins (they can focus on innovative apps), the local advertiser wins (they are getting more business to their location) and YPG wins (as we fulfill our commitment to drive more leads to our advertisers).

In April, I posted the Eco-System in Canada of YellowPages.ca which garnered alot of attention and mostly people commenting to me that they did not realize YPG was involved with so many partners. Here is the updated Eco-System slide, now with FourSquare:

To conclude, the past 48-hours is bring more attention to YPG’s data initiatives. Here is a round-up of the stories covering this announcement.

AboutFourSquare.com – YellowAPI becomes first Canadian partner for foursquare’s venue harmonization project

TechCrunch – Yellow Pages Teams Up With Foursquare For “Venue Harmonization Project”

Kin Lane – Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Joins Foursquare to Harmonize Data

Scribbal – Foursquare, Canada’s Yellow Pages Announce Strategic Partnership

Techplz – Yellow Pages and Foursquare team up in mutually beneficial deal

WashingtonPost – Yellow Pages Teams Up With Foursquare For “Venue Harmonization Project”

Direction Informatique – Groupe Pages Jaunes placera votre entreprise sur foursquare

Next Montreal – Yellow Pages Teams Up With Foursquare to Share Data

Kelsey Group – YPG Canada and Foursquare Team Up for Venue Harmonization

Tech Vibes – Yellow Pages Group announces Strategic Agreement with Foursquare

TD Waterhouse – Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Announces Strategic Agreement With foursquare

If you know of other locations, please post a comment and I will add to the list.

[SCREENSHOTS] Evolution of YellowPages.ca Mobile (2009-2011)

Did you know that 30% of YellowPages.ca traffic comes from mobile? Source: YPG.com. This news actually was announced during YPGs 1st quarter results and today, Greg Sterling did a post on his blog regarding this as well, see “YPG: 30% of Our Searches Come from Mobile“. This number is pretty impressive when you consider that only 2-years ago that number represented well less than 1%.

Another piece of news today is that the new YellowPages.ca application is a featured application in the iTunes store – this is pretty big news as you can’t buy your way to this placement, your application has to be deemed pretty good for the Apple editorial team to pick up.

YellowPages.ca Application Featured in the iTunes Store

YellowPages.ca Application Featured in the iTunes Store

For this blog post I thought it would be great to take a look back.

Having been with YPG since 2006, as an employee (actually been working with the company since 2001), I managed the team that launched YPG into the world of iPhone applications. Back in 2009 there was not a lot of focus on mobile, but since then the mobile team has expanded and is now under the leadership of Matthieu Houle, a colleague and friend of mine who as we say at YPG, is “rocking da house”. Under his leadership there have been 2 more releases of the YellowPages.ca iPhone application with the most recent only 1 month old.

Here is the evolution of the home page of the iPhone Application for YellowPages.ca

2009 (features included basic search for business, people and reverse, display ads, photos and videos)  

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application From 2009
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application From 2009

2010 (features included hot links to popular categories, streamlined and more intuitive interface, all YP.ca content including videos and photos)

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2010
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2010 Search Results Page

2011 (features include ratings and reviews, type ahead for categories and locations and customizable popular buttons)

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2011
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2011 Search Results Page

Download the latest application here in the iTunes store.

On November 8, 2009, I did a blog post, “Canada’s Yellow Pages(TM) Mobile App, over 1/2 Million Downloads and 3 Reasons for its Success” which in terms of the number of downloads is no longer accurate (we are over a couple of million) but the 3 reasons why I believe Canadians love this application hold.

If you don’t want to read the full article, let me summarize the 3 reasons why back then Canadians loved this app and why it holds true today –

1) Simplicity,
2) Content (even more so today) and
3) Usability (which gets better with every release).