Are Yellow Pages Being Replaced by the Internet?

When I was a teenager in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I remember the local phone book being delivered every year.  As a teenager, I didn’t have much use for the Yellow Pages.  I remember my parents using it for a number of different things like ordering a pizza, looking for a plumber, etc.  Wow, have times changed!  These days, if you ask anyone under the age of 35 what they use the Yellow Pages for, they might say; a booster seat, fire kindling or a back up directory if their internet is down.  As a former Yellow Page sales executive for 9 years, it is crazy to think but realistic that my two daughters will never use the Print Yellow Pages in their lives!  So, are Yellow Pages being replaced by the Internet?


Before the Internet, Yellow Pages gave consumers a convenient way to search for local businesses and find the products and services they needed.  It is not surprising that in 2010 over 86% of consumers go to the Internet as their first choice when searching for local businesses.  With smart phones, computers, laptops and all other Internet ready electronic devices, is has simply become the most convenient way to find what you are searching for and research products and services.  Besides the convenience and accessibility of the Internet, here are a few more reasons why the Internet has replaced Yellow Pages as the main source for consumers to find what they are looking for:

  • Our Everyday Lives:  The integration of computers and Internet based products into our everyday lives, professionally and personally.
  • Limited Information:  You can only get a limited amount of information out of a Yellow Page ad, while the Internet is limitless.
  • Fresh Content:  Fresh content is submitted constantly online, the Yellow Pages only can submit new content once a year.
  • Online Videos:  The Internet and websites offer consumers an opportunity to view videos of a company, product or service.
  • Cost:  Print advertising, despite becoming less effective and being far less affordable than different forms of internet advertising, remains very costly. Businesses are starting to understand the benefit of transferring their Yellow Page dollars to Internet Marketing mediums, and are receiving incredible returns on their investments.
  • White Pages:  Yellow Page distributors are already starting to take out and not print their white page sections of their phone books because the typical landline phone has been replaced by the cell phone in most homes.
  • The Internet is Mobile:  If you were out with your wife driving or at the mall you wouldn’t be able to grab your Yellow Pages and look for a local restaurant.  Now you can with the Internet on almost every cell phone these days.

There are many more reasons why the Internet is replacing tradition Yellow Pages but I think you get my point.  Think about the last time you were looking for a local business. Did you search for your print Yellow Pages that’s in the bottom of your kitchen drawer, or did you sit down at your computer and type the business name in the Google search box?  Nowadays, you don’t even have to leave your couch if your cell phone is handy.

In a recent impartial survey performed by our Internet Marketing Company, we polled over 200 people via email and in person interviews and asked them 5 simple questions:

1. Do you use the Yellow Pages to find local businesses? (6%-Yes, 94%-No)  

2. Do you use the Internet to find local businesses? (98%-Yes or 2%-No)

3. What search engine do you use most?  (91%-Google, 4%-Bing, 3%-Yahoo)

4. Do you use the Internet on your cell phone?  (84%-Yes)

5. Your Age?   (Ages ranged from 27-63)

These numbers were mind blowing!  You can read all the statistics you want but when you actually ask normal people and find out these numbers, it is staggering.  If you are a business owner, you do not want to miss out on a huge portion of your potential customers because you don’t have a visible web presence!  Although some people still use the Yellow Pages, you need to capture your largest audience by building your online presence!  

The numbers don’t lie…   If you own a business, you shouldn’t be asking yourself if theYellow Pages are being replaced by the Internet.  IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED!  You should be asking yourself, how do I gain a dominant web presence in front of my potential customers?  Web Traffic Partners can get you there.  Contact us today to receive a free Yellow Page advertising evaluation and a free Online Marketing Consultation or call us right now at 888.268.1892 to set up a meeting.  We look forward to working with you!

Call Web Traffic Partners at 888.268.1892 or fill out our contact form and we will set up a free consultation to go over your current Yellow Page commitment and implement a new internet marketing strategy. We look forward to hearing from you!

Article by: Chris Thomas – Founder & Internet Marketing Specialist 

Web Traffic Partners - Michigan Internet Marketing Company