When John Kelsey and I were in Denver several months ago, Simon Greenman, Dex vice president of Internet operations, told us that Dex was ahead of its competitors in its region, according to comScore's traffic data.
Today, the company formally put out a press release to that effect. Here's what the release says:
According to comScore, more than 30 percent of the IYP / Local Searches within Dex's 14 states during the first quarter occurred through DexOnline.com — more than the total of the next two competitors combined. The results marked the fifth consecutive quarter that Dex has been the IYP / Local Search leader within its region.
Although they're not identified by name, I imagine the next "two competitors" are Google and Yahoo!.
First, it has to be said that comScore is conservative when counting local searches. They don't parse queries on the main Yahoo! and Google domains to separate local from non-local searches. comScore doesn't try and determine whether, for example, "auto repair" on Google.com is an implied local search. comScore only measures traffic to "local" domains such as yp.yahoo.com, local.yahoo.com or local.google.com, so there's no ambiguity. As a result, there's almost certainly some undercounting going on because the local traffic on search engines is fragmented.
Still, I don't want to undermine the significance of what this means for Dex in particular and IYPs in general. It suggests that with consistent and ongoing attention to the user experience and with some heavy awareness marketing, which Dex has done in its 14-state region, IYP can be very competitive as a destination for consumer traffic — not just as an advertiser facing entity.
We believe being competitive on the consumer side is critical for the long-term viability and success of IYPs. And given the brand awareness of Google and Yahoo!, this is no small achievement by Dex.