The Need for Nichér Yellow Pages

Inspired by a pre-MinneBar conversation, I’ve been thinking more about websites and advertising.

Back when I was a kid on family trips – whether to the grandparents or elsewhere – one of the first things I would do at our destination is pull out the Yellow Pages.

After comparing its size against the thin leaflet back home, I’d page through and find the nearest bike, record, or skate shops. In hopes of having one cross our path in our forthcoming travels. Some of the places I found would just have a listing, others purchased a larger presence.

Google is the new Yellow Pages. Has been for a while. That doesn’t mean that it’s the best Yellow Pages – just that it’s good enough for most everything.

This is where a domain-specific directory (aka “vertical search”) comes in. Something so small, so niche, that it completely misses Goo’s radar.

Say, a directory of places that serve Juicy Lucy’s.

Now three questions:

  1. Can use of this directory be tied to more hamburger sales?
  2. How does the directory publisher get compensated to maintain the directory?
  3. What isn’t an ad in this directory?