woman searching on google

Should You Attempt to Get Listed Early in Google Searches (Organic Ranking) or Pay for Listings in Directories Such as Yellow Pages or Angie's List (Now Angi)?

By Mike Forrest, Owner and CEO at Archmore Business Web

Woman searching on google

Usually when you have any question about the internet there is ample data to help you determine the best route. One piece of information that would be valuable is how many people are looking at directory listings compared with listings in Google Search.

Here are some statistics on the number of people in the United States that visit each of these directories on a monthly basis. The number of people visiting Google is almost 75 times greater than those visiting Yellow Pages or Angie's List (Angi).

These directory platforms frequently rely on visitors coming to them from a Google Search! Why not get yourself high up in the Google search results instead of relying on these third-party platforms? Once someone gets to Angie's list they will then be presented your listing along with all of your other competiton who are listed.

Here is the data that I reviewed to help understand why these 3rd party directory listing are not as good as they may seem.

There are many other directories out there and just because they have convinced some of your competition to pay for a listing does not mean it is a smart thing to do. Here is something you can do yourself to check this out.

Search for your service in the city you are interested in.

Suppose your business is in Cleveland, Ohio and you perform appliance repair. You notice that one of your competitors in Cleveland has a listing on Yellow Pages. It would be important to see how many people see the Yellow Pages listing and the listings of your competitors. You would need to search for “appliance repair Cleveland ohio”

In order to do a search that does not use your previous browsing history you will need to open a private browser window also called a incognito window.

If you are using Google Chrome browser you do this by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner and then selecting “New incognito window”. See below:

If you are using a Microsoft Edge browser you will click on the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner and then click on “New in Private window” See below:

Now that you have the browser set up so that your previous searches will not affect what Google brings up in the search listings you can do some searches.

Following the example that we had when we started. Put in the Google search window ‘Appliance repair Cleveland ohio’. In my search I found Yellow Pages listed as the 10th listing on page three. That puts them about 30th in the search listings which is not good at all. Those people paying Yellow Pages for an early listing are really out of luck. Even if someone clicks on the Yellow Pages listing, you will not be the only listing they see.

We advise our clients to first explore what can be done with getting listed early in a search (organic listing) as opposed to attempting to appear in one of the many directory listings like Yellow Pages or even Angi.


By Mike Forrest,
Owner and CEO at Archmore Business Web