UK based Yell.com the internet arm of the yellow pages directory has been slowly moving to increase what services it offers to the online world.
Recently it unleashed SEO Web Pages to a limited amount of clients. This service offers the promise of professional SEO for all those who pay for advertising with Yell.
Is this a breakthrough service or do SEO companies have nothing to fear?
Video killed the radio star
Back in 1883 a USA company made the decision to print its business directory on yellow paper due to paper supply and the Yellow Pages as we know it today was born.
Since then the popularity of the publication has gone from strength to strength and is available in many countries across the world.
Indeed before Google, if you wanted to advertise a product or service the Yellow Pages was the platform of choice.
Next generation platform
Within years of Starting, Google unlocked the secret of advertising online and since then has constantly taken more and more advertising market share from the traditional businesses.
In 1996 Yell.com was launched with the view to exploit this new advertising market, it was realised that as the internet became a everyday tools it would reduce the need for traditional yellow pages.
Since its early days Yell has constantly evolved and often offers new features.
It’s free for a basic listing
Constant with the offline publication Yell offered all customers the chance to have a free listing. Free advertising is always valuable and Yell is no different in this respect. A premium listing would offer the company advertising, the chance to appear higher in the listing and also weblinks to your website.
This year Yell went further and started to offer free weblinks to all companies listed. For a paid directory site this is quite a giveaway as one way inbound links are rarer then gold at the end of a rainbow.
Why would Yell do this? Quite simply up until this point it was starting to lose ground to directories who offered this service by default.
Optimised by Yell
In the last month or so Yell has started moving in a new direction. By offering its SEO Web Pages product it’s hoping that companies will pay a small amount to have Yell market them on the web.
So is cheap SEO good SEO?
Although advertised as being put together by experts the product look anything like.
Visually the default is crude and would put off anyone actually reaching your SEO Web Page. Yell promises customisation but at a price, but if I didn’t know better I would say the pages have been made to look intentionally bad to help sell the paid service….
But isn’t SEO about high Google ranking?
Its true and this is where my real problem is with the service. Beyond visuals Yell uses an Algorithm to populate several pages which interconnect together. This copy may SEO well but would put off most potential clients who see your business for the first time.
But worse still if the Yell service becomes popular any advantage by using it will by null as everyone will be using the same SEO and worse still if the algorithm is not that cleaver you may find your SEO copy is exactly the same as someone else’s.
When Google finds two pages the same, it often inflicts a penalty on one….
SEO is not about a trick or tick list, it’s about presenting your company’s Unique Selling point to the widest possible audience.