Yell Goes in Deep With Microsoft

Following on its announcement yesterday that it had acquired the U.S.-based e-commerce firm Znode, Yell Group has unveiled a new alliance with Microsoft to sell the software giant's cloud-based services to its U.K. customers. The services Yell will offer will…

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Seattle Judge Upholds YP Opt-Out Registry

A federal judge upheld Seattle's opt-out registry this week for residents who choose not to receive Yellow Pages. U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart said the city's opt-out ordinance does not violate the Yellow Pages publishers' First Amendment rights.…

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Local Matters Names Higley New CEO

Local Matter has named a new CEO, Tom Higley, who takes the helm at the local search software company following a months-long search. Higley has a deep background in starting up technology companies. According to his LinkedIn profile, Higley was most…

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New LSA Data Show Search in the Lead, but YP Still Matters

Yellow Pages has yielded the top spot for local business lookups to search engines like Google and Bing, but it still holds a significant spot in the local search hierarchy, according to new data released today by the Local Search Association.

The latest “Local Media Tracking Study” shows that search engines rank higher than Yellow Pages (print and digital combined) in monthly reach (67 percent vs. 62 percent), while combined Yellow Pages still has the edge over search in annual reach (84 percent vs. 76 percent). Print Yellow Pages alone, however, has fallen behind search in both annual (78 percent to 74 percent) and monthly (67 percent to 49 percent) reach.

LSA President Neg Norton said in a briefing last week that the study reflects the new direction of the association, which earlier this year changed its name from the Yellow Pages Association.

“This is an example of how the association is changing,” he said. “This is not a Yellow Pages study. It is a more holistic look at the local landscape.”

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Yellowbook Launches New Android Tablet App

Yellowbook announced the launch of its new Android tablet app today. The new app features map-based business listing results. This feature allows users to find a business by searching the business name, popular categories, nearby businesses or by browsing their…

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SF Mayor Signs Opt-in Ordinance

We just learned that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has signed into law the San Francisco opt-in ordinance. Lee's signature was anticipated since the ordinance passed the city's Board of Supervisors by an overwhelming margin. The Yellow Pages industry has…

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San Francisco Opt-In Ordinance Passes

Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the opt-in ordinance that the Yellow Pages industry had vigorously opposed. Immediately following the vote, the Local Search Association (formerly the Yellow Pages Association) called on San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee to veto the ordinance. The ordinance passed 10-1 but formal passage must wait until a routine “second reading” next week, which is likely to be a rubber stamp.

The ordinance is the first opt-in (where consumers must proactively choose to receive a print directory) measure to pass in the United States. While the industry sees opt-out (where consumers can choose not to receive a book) as a serious challenge, it has viewed opt-in as a lethal threat. Opt-in could decimate reach, increase costs and drive secondary operators out of business.

Proponents argue that in an era of declining usage, ubiquitous distribution is incredibly wasteful. if someone wants a book, no one is stopping him or her from requesting one under an opt-in plan.

The San Francisco ordinance is positioned as a “three-year pilot program” that will commence in 2012. The ordinance was proposed based on environmental concerns as well as concerns over the cost of disposing of unwanted phone books.

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