Get a phone number – Yellow Pages vs Google

Remember the Yellow Pages – it was this thick book with yellow pages that you used to find businesses and get their phone number. It wasn’t a stand for your computer monitor.

In the drive (perhaps to prove they still provide value) to show customers that people do look at their Yellow Pages entries you don’t get to see the phone numbers in the listings. Yes, the Yellow Pages hides phone numbers now.

Yellow Pages listing with phone number hidden behind a link that says TelephoneYou have to click on “Telephone” for the number to appear.

Yellow Pages listing after clicking Telephone link displays the numberWhy do they do this?

They can count the number of clicks and let the business know how many times people have wanted to see their phone number – with the assumption that they probably called – number of clicks = calls the listing generated. This extra click, this little annoyance is not there to serve the customer it’s there for the Yellow Pages as a sales tool.

Compare with looking for accountants using Google.

Google search result for a business registered with Google Places shows phone numberProvided the businesses are registered with Google Places, the phone number is shown in results.

Who would have thought? Phone numbers visible in Google (a web search engine) but not in the Yellow Pages (a book and online phone directory). But the moral is – first serve your customer and then figure out how to measure.


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