(This is the third post in a new series of guest writers.)
Tim Coleman is the author of Convert Offline and former sales manager and technology sales trainer at a well known national yellow page publisher.
Here is what Tim has to say about how "they" are using your information, but then selling it back to you :
I did a search on Google for garage door repair in Orlando and the first organic result was not a garage door company in Orlando. Rather it was a directory, superpages.com.
Interestingly, if Google wanted to advertise in the Verizon Yellow Pages (superpages is owned by the same company as the Verizon yellow pages) under the garage door heading, they would not be allowed. I don't think that google would want to but that's hardly the point.
These directories seem to pop up quite a bit in the search results in all business categories; Did you ever wonder why? After all, Superpages is not located in Orlando and they don't fix garage doors.
They rank because they list company's that have words like Orlando and garage door repair in their names.
They do this... then they re-sell the traffic back to the small businesses, whose information allowed them to rank and get the traffic to begin with... interesting business model, eh?
What if small business owners refused to allow other websites to publish their listing information?
What if every business owner united and called the phone company today and non-pubbed (de-listed) their address and telephone number? An awful lot of Directories would go right out of business including the yellow pages print editions.
Depending on who you asked, it could be as much $100 Billion in Local Ad Revenue gone-overnight. And of course, $100 Billion in expenses saved by the local businesses.
It gets even better, the result of doing this is that their websites would then rank in Google searches instead of these directories. They would then get a lot of very high quality traffic for free instead of paying for it as they are now. I bet if you own a small business and you just read this it made you sick... sorry.
Unite brother... Unite.