Yellow unveils upgrade, two years in the making

Yellow Pages Group has unveiled a remodelled Yellow.co.nz, two years in the making.

Previously the site was infamous for its sprawling results (as Yellow marketing director Kellie Nathan told The Ad Show’s Hazel Phillips in July last year:  “People actually race up to me on the street and say, ‘Do you know your product doesn’t work?’ And it’s like stating the obvious, really.”)

Now, as search for “pizza, Mt Eden” deliveries eateries in the suburb first, followed by wider results.

Yellow’s director of digital media Peter Crowe called the concept “geo-expansion”.

The site has also been given a more modern look, and back-ends systems have been upgraded for better speed and accuracy.

The upgrade went live yesterday following a planned outage over the weekend.

The overall look is much cleaner, and the site has definitely become more useful. But some teething issues remain. Accessing the site via Chrome, NBR received Google API error messages after a number of searches, presumably related to the Google Maps that are embedded in results. There was also a more permanent annoyance: only the first half of a phone number is displayed in grouped search results, forcing you to click through to businesses page.

Mr Crowe said Yellow’s system was two years old when he arrived at the company two years ago. The upgrade was overdue. Interim CEO Scott Pomeroy said it was like a long put-off visit to the dentist.

Changes for Yellow Local
Ironically, a second Yellow property, Yellow Local, is in for would could be seen as the reverse of geo-expansion.

Mr Crowe conceded that Yellow had sliced Auckland too thinly by breaking Yellow Local into 205 suburb-by-suburb micro-sites. The digital director used himself as an example. He lived in Grey Lynn, but was also interested in cafes and other businesses in Ponsonby and other surrounding areas.

The beta site’s next major upgrade would likely see content and search results delivered for groups of suburbs (and approach that would bring it closer to the “super suburb” paradigm used by Yellow Local rival Localist, owned by NZ Post).

Mr Crowe said iPhone and Android apps were also on the way for Yellow Local (Localist recently upgraded its mobile apps to support a check-in function).

A central aim is to deliver suburb-specific or citywide results depending on the context of a person’s search.

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