Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually opened a Yellow Pages phone book to find a business?

Now, how many times in the last week have you used Google?

Yellow Pages business model is dead – they didn’t move quickly enough to adapt to a changing marketplace and the digital revolution that is taking place, they have been beaten by Google, Facebook and Bing and a thousand other platforms on the internet. The only reason Yellow Pages advertising still exist is because some business owners haven’t moved quickly enough to embrace newer marketing platforms, techniques & strategies.

Sensis slashed 648 jobs from its Yellow Pages business in 2012 and showed 25.6% drop in print revenues in 2013. Telstra even wants out as looks to sell 70% stake in Sensis, its directories business, to US private equity firm Platinum Equity for a total of AU$454 million.

The facts paint a clear picture:

• Sensis said that so far 20,000 Australians have asked not to receive the Yellow Pages directories.

• 81% of people first search online before making a purchase instead of using Yellow Pages, newspapers or other traditional “offline” methods.

• Half of Internet users now use search engines on a daily basis.

• 41 – 45% of people believe the most trusted result is page 1 of organic listings


Google trends graph illustrating the severe decline in searches for “yellow pages”.

Google Trends for Yellow Pages

Telstra’s former chief executive Sol Trujillo once dared to compare Sensis to the global search giant Google when he uttered two now unforgettable words: “Google schmoogle.” Fast-forward 9 years and the colossal shadow cast by Google leaves the Yellow Pages as relevant as a distant second cousin.
What about yellow pages online?
No sorry this does not work either. It comes back to the point raised earlier, when you jump on your computer to find something do you think “aaahh yes I need to go the Yellow Page Online” or do you do what 81% of Australians do, what is effortless and punch those few little words into Google and have thousands of options available for you with rich details about the company or product, including: pictures, videos, consumer reviews or even pop over to the companies Facebook page and read what real customers are saying.

In the past 10 years (that I have worked in online marketing), I have not heard the online Yellow Page profiles or advertising actually generating any business for at least the past 6+ years.