YPC Unveils New Look

Earlier this week Yellowpages.com officially launched a new and improved site (which had been in beta for some time), expanding further on a look launched late last year. The new version aims to enhance the overall visual appeal and, more important, improve the user experience. You can take a look at the new site and judge for yourself. You can also read the announcement for a litany of the site’s new features.

The rapid pace of change among the major IYPs attests to the fact that what was once competitive is now hyper-competitive. The standards for continuous improvement in the IYP space are higher than they’ve ever been. This newest effort should be seen as part of a continuum, and YPC does promise more, unspecified improvements are in the offing. It was less than a year ago that YPC rolled out an improved platform, and this version moves YPC a step further down the path toward becoming a best-in-class service.

One feature that stood out for me in the new YPC is a neighborhood refinement feature, which makes searching within big cities much easier. As any Chicagoan can tell you, searching for “Chinese restaurants in Chicago” will produce a mountain of listings and is all but useless. What you really need is “Chinese restaurants in Lincoln Park” or Beverly and so on. A similar capability has long existed on Citysearch, but YPC still deserves a nod for adding this feature.

YPC notes that it built the new version using “Ruby on Rails” rather than Java code and claims to be “one of the largest production websites coded on Ruby.”

YPC used the new site announcement to drop some numbers on where it stands in the IYP/local search pecking order. Citing comScore data, YPC says it posted a 78 percent increase in unique visitors from May 2006 to May 2007. YPC also pointed to its own study, conducted by Morpace Market Research and Consulting, which found 74 percent of consumers searching on YPC end up contacting a business, with 55 percent making a purchase, for an average value of US$217.

Mike Boland posted on the beta release of the new site back in June.

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