Ash Nallawalla's blog

Your directory is not bigger than mine

Ash Nallawalla

28 August 2009

Directory

Saw via the Kelsey Group blog that the New Zealand Yellow™ publishers have asked Tradesmen Direct (TD) to remove a claim on their website that it is the largest directory of tradespersons in NZ.

td

TD claims to have 18,000 trades listings, whereas Yellow claims to have more than 10,000 listings for builders alone, never mind electricians, plasterers and other tradespeople.

Details: Nelson Mail

ynz

It appears that TD has removed that claim from the website, or it’s well hidden, but I was surprised that Yellow even bothered to contact TD. It probably gave free publicity to TD.

Speaking  from an SEO perspective, Yellow™ has nothing to worry about from TD. Barely 1000 pages have been indexed and none of my test searches (google.co.nz, pages from NZ, but done in Australia) had TD above Yellow.

The search for Manukau car valet was great, with four Yellow results in the top 20. TD had a valid result but it was at #67.

Yellow fared well with Lower Hutt pest control, with five results. TD had none in the top 100.

I next tried a couple of heartland searches, for TD is based in Nelson and Tahunanui is nearby, hence Tahunanui plumber. Yellow had six results (!) in the top 20 – two from its main www domain, two from a duplicate www2 subdomain and two from its maps domain. If you can accept that gasfitters are usually qualified plumbers (?) then all its results were on target. A TD result was much lower but it was the home page and thus not a relevant page.

Nelson plasterer would surely be a cinch for TD, I thought. No cigar for the first 100 results. Yellow and its three subdomains (www, www2 and maps) were there.

Nelson carpenter was a disappointment for both. Yellow had a result at #90, but TD had none.

The search for East Tamaki carpenter was interesting. Google picked two results for Yellow for unrelated businesses (Steel processing and Industrial fasteners) located on Carpenter Road, East Tamaki, not actual carpenters. TD didn’t show in the first 100 results. However, on the TD site, the same search produced two results for unrelated headings (Sheet metal engineers and Forwarders):

etcarpenterThe Yellow site had no problem in finding five real carpenters in East Tamaki.

etcarp

Of course, TD’s PHPMyDirectory script is no match for Yellow’s industrial strength platform powered by Local Matters.

Christchurch fencing contractor had the usual six results for Yellow but none for TD. I had had enough of testing by this stage.

Businesses contemplating advertising in an Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) or business directory should take the time to search for their own category (heading) in Google and a few other related categories to see if pages from the IYP rank in the top 20 results. New IYPs need to get SEO right from the get go if they are to get anywhere. I use the PHPMyDirectory script for a couple of free directories and can vouch that it is not optimised out of the box. It needs tweaks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9815bvJrKw

It’s also about apples and oranges. Mature businesses such as Yellow can provide wider reach than just the website channel – print, voice, mobile and now the Sheep Launcher-beating Yellow iPhone app!

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

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