R.H. Donnelley has flipped the on switch on the new DexKnows.com Internet Yellow Pages platform. We wrote extensively about this new platform while it was in beta, in a blog post as well as an Advisory from The Kelsey Report.
We have commented that the new site (a tangible outcome of the acquisition of Business.com and its team of technologists) represents an ambitions effort to address many of the widely perceived shortcomings of IYPs. Now it is time to find out if consumers and advertisers respond favorably to the effort.
The press release announcing the official launch emphasizes how the new site breaks out of many of the conventions of IYP search to make the experience closer to what consumers have come to expect from local search, such as searching by brands and attributes rather than a structured category-based taxonomy.
One of the more interesting features is the ability to search based on the service area boundaries for local service businesses, rather than the location of the business. The utility of this feature may evolve over time as businesses self-identify service areas boundaries.
From the announcement:
DexKnows.com does not follow a typical listing structure that requires consumers to drill down several levels to find what they want. Instead, they can simply type in what they’re looking for — whether in specific or general terms — and DexKnows.com returns relevant results.
DexKnows.com allows consumers to:
— Search by specific neighborhoods or landmarks. The site’s “hyperlocal” search capability enables users to pinpoint their search area. Search by specific neighborhoods or landmarks. The site’s “hyperlocal” search capability enables users to pinpoint their search area.
— Search by descriptive phrase. Consumers simply need to type “clean house” or “fix sink” to yield relevant results that present them with a myriad of options to meet their needs.
— View results that accurately reflect both business location and local service areas. Sometimes, consumers may seek the physical location of a local business, for example, to find a dry cleaner in close proximity to their homes. Other times, consumers want to see which local businesses support their area, such as what plumbers provide repair services in their neighborhoods.
The new site provides consumers with more relevant options to choose from. While it may take some time before it is fully formed, all in all, this is a worthy effort at improving the IYP product model.