Yellow Book Buys Click Forward

    February 8, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The publisher of numerous print and online yellow page directories takes a step into the digital world with its acquisition of the Florida-based SEM company, Click Forward

It might be said that the Yellow Book website has been ignoring the potential of the Internet. Actually, The Kelsey Group said it in covering the news that Yellow Book has acquired Click Forward:

The publisher has been accused by some in the investment community of paying too little attention to digital as it pursues growth opportunities in the traditional business. This acquisition certainly helps Yellow Book break out of the perception that it is all about print.

Click Forward focuses on local web advertising, according to its site. They use their technology to provide SEM services for directory publishers, a category that definitely contains Yellow Book.

Local search has been a competitive focal point for the major search engines, with Google, Yahoo, and MSN all developing and tweaking a variety of solutions. Imagery has become the popular meme for local search. Google merged its Maps product with its Local service, and Microsoft made Virtual Earth part of Windows Live Local.

Yellow Book has made an effort at duplicating the search players. It uses maps from AOL’s MapQuest to show where businesses reside in a locale, like where to find the nearest kenpo studio.

The appeal of local search becomes very apparent when looking at the numbers. Local search alone may be a $4 billion market by 2010.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.