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Yellow pages – Wikipedia
Yellow Pages2004 Yellow Pages for Auckland, New ZealandParentVarious (United States), Yell (United Kingdom); Yellow Pages Group (Canada)CategoriesBusiness directoryFrequencyYearlyPublisherVarious (United States), Yell (United Kingdom); Bell Canada (Canada), Year founded1966; 55 years agoFirst issue1966Final issue2019 (United Kingdom)CountryUnited StatesUnited KingdomAustraliaCanadaNew ZealandBased inVariousLanguageEnglish
The yellow pages are telephone directories of businesses, organized by category rather than alphabetically by business name, in which advertising is sold. The directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings. The traditional term “yellow pages” is now also applied to online directories of businesses.
In many countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere, “Yellow Pages” (or any applicable local translations), as well as the “Walking Fingers” logo first introduced in the 1970s by the Bell System-era AT&T, are registered trademarks, though the owner varies from country to country, usually being held by the main national telephone company (or a subsidiary or spinoff thereof).  However, in the United States, neither the name nor the logo was registered as trademarks by AT&T, and they are freely used by several publishers. This can sometimes be confusing as YP (AT&T), Yellow Pages Directory Inc and yellow pages are all similar in nature. To distinguish one Yellow Pages from another more accurately, the US trademark Office recently granted on Feb. 02, 2021 a trade mark for the company Yellow Pages Directory Inc to become the “Official Yellow Pages Directory. ”
The name and concept of “yellow pages” came about in 1883, when a printer in Cheyenne, Wyoming, working on a regular telephone directory, ran out of white paper and used yellow paper instead.  In 1886, Reuben H. Donnelley created the first official Yellow Pages directory. 
Today, the expression yellow pages is used globally in both English-speaking and non-English speaking countries. In the United States, it refers to the category, while in some other countries it is a registered name and therefore a proper noun. The term Yellow Pages is not a registered name within the United States and is freely used by many companies. Telephone directories using the Internet domain name “” (where cc is the ccTLD) exist in 75 countries.  They are edited by many different phone companies and directory publishers, mostly independently.
A particular yellow pages is a print directory which provides an alphabetical listing of businesses within a specific geographical area (e. g. the Tampa Bay area, which are segregated under headings for similar types of businesses, such as plumbers). Traditionally these directories have been published by the local phone company, but there are numerous independent directory publishers. Some yellow pages publishers focus on a particular demographic (e. Christian yellow pages or business pages).
Yellow pages directories are usually published annually and distributed for free to all residences and businesses within a given coverage area. The majority of listings are plain and in small black text. The yellow-pages publishers profit by selling advertising space or listings under each heading. Advertising may be sold by a direct sales force or by approved agencies (CMR’s). Available advertising space varies among publishers and ranges from bold names up to four color twin page ads (“double trucks”).
In the United States, the predominant yellow pages are DEX One’s DEX, the AT&T Real Yellow Pages, Yellowbook, and the Superpages.
Yellowbook Logo used in the United States
Business listings used for publication are obtained by several methods. Local phone companies that publish yellow pages directories rely on their own customer lists and include business listings that are provided by incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs).
Advertising in yellow pages directories requires payment in full prior to printing or may be billed monthly over the life of the contract, which is usually 12 months. Typically, sales representatives help customers to design their ads and provide a proof copy for review and approval.
Yellow pages’ print usage is reported to be declining with both advertisers and shoppers increasingly turning to Internet search engines and online directories. According to a study by Knowledge Networks/SRI, in 2007, print yellow pages were referenced 13. 4 billion times, while Internet yellow pages references increased to 3. 8 billion, up from 2006’s 3. 3 billion online searches.  As a result, most yellow pages publishers have attempted to create online versions of their print directories. These online versions are referred to as IYP or Internet yellow pages. Independent ad agencies or Internet marketing consultants can assist business owners in determining sound opportunities for yellow pages advertising and provide objective information on usage, possession and preferences.
Archived yellow pages and telephone directories are important tools in local historical research and trademark litigation. 
Canadian yellow pages logo
The “Walking Fingers” logo was created by Henry Alexander,  a New England artist. After graduating from the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Alexander began a freelance career as an illustrator and commercial designer. He formed a long association with the New England Telephone Company lasting thirty-one years. In 1962, he designed the “walking fingers” logo and within a year it became the national trademark for their yellow pages.
AT&T, the creator and owner of the most famous three-fingered version of the “Walking Fingers” logo, never applied for a trademark on the logo. While they eventually received a trademark on a different version of the logo, the version with the three fingers was not considered by AT&T to be proprietary and they in fact allowed any telephone directory to use it.  Throughout the 1970s, many cities ran television ads showing a disembodied hand “walking” across an open copy of the Yellow Pages, with the slogan “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking. ”
The Bell System later applied for a trademark on the logo but had their trademark denied on the grounds that it “had become a generic indicator of the yellow pages without regard to any particular source. “ Shortly thereafter, Bell began using a trademarkable logo with a lightbulb instead of the walking fingers, but returned to the walking fingers two years later. 
In some countries, the familiar “walking fingers” logo is not protected as a trademark and may be used by anyone. This logo is used in varying forms by almost every yellow pages publisher; however, there are companies that use it to imitate mainstream publishers.
In Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, Israel and the Netherlands the directory, although using the yellow pages logo, is called “Golden Pages”. 
Internet yellow pages
Online business directories are branded as IYP or Internet yellow pages. On a broader scale, they can be classified as vertical directories. There are consumer oriented and business oriented varieties. Providers of IYP offer online advertising.
According to several reports the search term “yellow pages” was in the top 5 highest revenue generator of all search terms in Google’s AdWords program in 2010. Experian/Hitwise reported in January 2011 that the search term “yellow pages” was one of the top 50 search terms across all search engines and all search terms(millions of search terms). This made “yellow pages” one of the most searched for things on the Internet in 2011.
The Yellow Pages Association said in February 2011 that 75 percent of adults in the United States still used print yellow pages and that for every $1 in investment, businesses returned $15. 
IYP offers listings differently from standard search engines. Where search engines return results based on relevance to the true search term, IYP returns results based on a geographic area. 
IYP is classified as a local search directory which provides content with the added ability to refine the search to find the needed service. The search engine prioritizes local businesses in its results rather than the results being dominated by regional or national companies. All services offer paid advertising options which typically offer preferred placement on search results pages.
In later years, the yellow pages industry faced scrutiny from environmentalist groups who claim printed yellow pages are a wasteful resource, citing statistics that by 2011 nearly 70% of all Americans rarely or never used printed phone directories.  Other studies have found that a majority of consumers continue to use Yellow Pages.  Approximately 58% of working U. S. adults said they use phone books at home, work or both, according to a 2013 survey by RingCentral that appeared in USA Today. 
The Product Stewardship Institute claims local governments spend $54 million a year to dispose of unwanted phone books and $9 million to recycle them.  Phone books use low grade glues and are therefore difficult to recycle, and they often clog recycling machinery.  Conversely, publishers note that phone book directories are 100% recyclable and are made using soy-based and non-toxic inks, glues and dyes. 
In 2011, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to restrict yellow page distribution to people who opt in,  but was being sued in federal court by the Local Search Association on freedom of speech grounds.  According to the Sierra Club, 1. 6 million phone books were distributed annually in San Francisco, producing 3600 tons of waste, $1 million in disposal costs, and 6180 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.  In 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed, and the Mayor signed, an ordinance that repealed the Yellow Pages Distribution Pilot Program (Ordinance 130186). 
Also in 2011, Yellow Pages Association and the Association of Directory Publishers started the Web site allowing anyone in the United States to choose not to receive directories. The site remains active in 2018. 
The 2009 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Municipal Solid Waste report classified directories as the smallest contributor of paper and paperboard products to the solid waste stream, representing only 0. 3% – significantly less than all other paper product categories such as newspapers, magazines and books.  In 2010, the EPA stopped measuring directories separately from newspapers, indicating the minor impact of directories on municipal waste. 
Yellow Pages publishers’ paper usage declined by nearly 60% between 2007–2012, and were projected to continue declining through 2013, according to the Pulp and Paper Products Council.  The EPA’s 2011 Municipal Waste report showed that approximately 73% of phone directory, newspaper and mechanical papers were recycled. 
Decline of print directories
In September 2017, Yell, the publisher of Yellow Pages in the United Kingdom, announced that the business would be fully digitized from January 2019, ending the publication’s 51-year run.  The last UK copies were posted out on 18 January 2019. 
The Irish publisher of the Golden Pages moved to an online-only model in 2017 after exiting Examinership.  The equivalent “Independent Directory” (similar to the UK’s Thomson Local directories) produced by Independent News & Media ceased publication in 2009. 
Blue pages – government-related counterpart
Electronic Yellow Pages
List of yellow pages
Telephone directory (white pages) – residential, non-commercial counterpart of the yellow pages
^ “Conditions of using our website”. Yell Limited (UK). Retrieved 14 October 2012. We (Yell Limited or ‘Yell’) [… ] legally own a wide range of intellectual property rights used in and relating to this website, including [… ] the trademarks [… ] Yellow Pages [… ] and related logos… (Yell Limited is a subsidiary of Hibu, which was spun off from British Telecom. )
^ “Beware of Fraudulent Participation” (PDF). Yellow Pages Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2012. But there’s only one true Yellow Pages directory that carries the Yellow Pages brand and Walking Fingers & Design in Canada. Yellow Pages Group is the exclusive owner of these trademarks in the country. (Yellow Pages Group is a spin-off of Bell Canada. )
^ Clark, Nick (18 May 2011). “R for recovery plan? Yell plots digital future”. The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
^ “Yellow Pages – History of the Yellow Pages”. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ “Media * Matters * odds & ends”. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ “Official Yellow Pages around the World”.
^ “New Research Shows Overall Yellow Pages Usage Growing – 17. 2 Billion Searches in 2007”.
^ Brookman, Adam (2005). Trademark Law: protection, enforcement, and licensing. Aspen Law and Business. pp. 10–34.
^ “Henry Alexander Obituary”. Robert Paul Galleries. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
^ a b “Bellsouth v. Datanational”. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ “Bell System Memorial- Bell Logo History”. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ “D Website”. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ ” – Golden Pages (Yellow Pages) Ireland”.
^ a b Boyle, John (23 February 2018). “Answer Man Classic: Who wrote Billy Graham’s ‘My Answer’ column? “. Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
^ “Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages – A Whole New vocabulary for Small Business Sales | Green Chair Marketing Group”. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
^ Smith, Catharine (3 February 2011). “Website Lets You Opt-Out of Yellow Pages Delivery”. The Huffington Post.
^ “RingCentral in the News: PC Magazine, The Economist and More”. RingCentral. 19 April 2013.
^ “Phone Book Project”. Product Stewardship Institute.
^ “Thrive in Perpetuity: 2012 Sustainability Report”. Local Search Association. 23 April 2012.
^ “San Francisco effectively bans the Yellow Pages”.
^ “Phone Book Industry Takes S. F. ‘s Yellow Pages Ban to Federal Court”. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014.
^ “Sierra Club’s position statement on yellow pages”.
^ “Environment Code – Repealing Yellow Pages Distribution Pilot Program”. City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 7 August 2013.
^ “Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2009 Facts and Figures” (PDF). U. Environmental Protection Agency. December 2010.
^ “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Tables and Figures for 2010” (PDF). December 2011.
^ “Pulp and Paper Products Council”.
^ “Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2011 Facts and Figures” (PDF). May 2013.
^ “Yellow Pages to stop printing from January 2019”. The Guardian. September 2017.
^ “‘Sign of the times’ as final Yellow Pages are delivered”.
^ “Court agrees scheme which will allow Golden Pages publishers to exit examinership”. Irish Examiner. 9 November 2017.
^ “Independent Directory closure”. ilevel Media, Marketing and Development. 11 December 2009.
Ridgeway, Kristi. “Thomson Group: Landmarks”. Media Profiles. Ketupa. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2005…. 1966 forms Thomson Yellow Pages…… 1980 sells Thomson Yellow Pages, forms Thomson Directories as joint venture with Dun & Bradstreet’s RH Donnelley…
“Yell UK History”. About. Yell Group. Archived from the original on 25 October 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2005.
“Our History”. About Us. Kingston Communications. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2005.
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Yellow Pages® Android app with Caller ID – Finalist – DRIVENxDESIGN
Yellow Pages® Android is a free app that helps you find, select and connect with local businesses wherever you are in Australia. With Yellow Pages®, you can search for nearby businesses using your current location, explore with map search, save your favorite businesses to your contact list, share listings with friends via email, text, or social and identify unknown business calls with our brand new feature, Caller ’s Caller ID feature is the first solely for Australian use, there are other apps out there that support more than Australia, however are tailored to the US.
Product Managers:Blake England and Keith SwannProducer and BA team:Natalie Rudolph, Prab Dosanjh and Deanne CassidyUX & Design team:Neil Simpson, Liam Keogh and Abi IyerDevelopers:Barry Ahl, Adrian Kho, Tarras, Mark Cossenas, George Papastamatopoulos, Justin BerryTester:Malintha Fernando
Yellow Pages is Australia’s largest business directory, so it’s no wonder that millions of Australians use it to find and connect to businesses every Australians increasingly looking for businesses while they are out and about, and the rising use of Android phones with consumers, we wanted to make searching for local businesses even easier with the all-new Yellow Pages® Android app with Caller with an aging Android wrapper site not designed for modern devices, Yellow Pages took the bold decision to create an entirely new native experience for its growing Android user base. This not only replaced the old wrapper site but fully unified the Yellow Pages user experience across mobile and tablet for Android addition through this project we released the Caller ID feature to Yellow Pages users before Google’s version ‘spotlight’ hit the market. We’ve rebuilt the entire app from the ground up, delivering a fresh contemporary design, with fluid interactions and enhanced native features; whilst keeping focus on our user need to keep search a simple intuitive process. On the technical front, we listened to our users and improved the performance of the app. Alongside a technical focus on speed, this app is now universal, so it functions seamlessly across phone and tablet. Consumers are migrating to our Android app quicker than anticipated – with usage of the new application up almost 100% when compared to last year’s wrapper app.
The incubation of Sensis’s Caller ID feature, now part of the new Yellow Pages Android app, was born from a new innovation focused team in Sensis who sort to apply IDEO style ‘design thinking’ techniques to innovate new product concepts around consumer communication team applied human centred design and lean product development principles to the problem space of ‘managing connections’ – from this collaboration the innovative product ‘Fabric’ was born (also available in the Google Play store). Fabric was the first app into the Australian Android market with a Caller ID feature, an innovation that beat Google to the market. Caller ID in Fabric was a hit with consumers and from this we iterated and evolved the feature into the Yellow Pages Android consumer focused test and learn approach has been successful for us, with 13% of the new Yellow Pages Android App usage coming from interactions on Caller ID notifications.
At Yellow Pages we aim to provide the best Android experience possible by continuously folding user feedback into the development of our feedback is vital, whether it is received in the form of an app store review that is regularly monitored and responded to by the team, an in app survey, contextual user testing and inquiry or via our group of beta testers who provide valued and trusted feedback on new features hitting the ensure that we are investing in the right areas for our users the product team have adopted an approach of multiple quick releases to market, opposed to one massive launch. Through this approach we hope to demonstrate to our loyal users that Yellow is actively investing in the application and their needs.
First and foremost we ensured that the ‘Yellow Pages Android app with Caller ID’ was merchandised effectively in the Google Play store because this is where the majority of potential users discover the Yellow Pages Android application. Specifically we ensured that the app could be found in searches, that there were accurate and enticing descriptions of the app’s functionality and appealing representative screenshots. We supported the launch with digital marketing within our own family of sites, encouraging Android users to download the app via marketing on our responsive website. By targeting existing users of Yellow Pages we could assume a more loyal and interested base for the message – and higher conversion rates. We also deployed a Facebook advertising campaign with varied creative messages – in particular introducing the new Caller ID feature to the market.
Yellow Pages have a long history of implementing best practice privacy, and all developments are inclusive of reviews by our Legal team and Privacy Officer. In particularly, during the Android project, a lot of thought and planning went in to the privacy around the Caller ID feature – as this feature was new to the Australian market. With Yellow Pages Caller ID, the app uses your phone contacts and Yellow Pages directory data to help identify businesses calling you as well as businesses you are developing this feature in line with legal and privacy standards, we ensured the user’s contacts are not stored or used for any other function. Also the Caller ID feature is enabled only after the user has opened the application and been prompted with a welcome message introducing the feature and privacy statement (see screenshot). It is also worth noting that the feature can be turned off at any time through the applications settings, this will disable all functionality.
Directories & guides
This category is suitable for applications providing directory listings or information guides bringing all the relevant information and tips together in one app dustry listings, trade directories, planners
Do People Still Use the Yellow Pages? The Answer May Surprise …
Way, way back in the olden days, people wrote on typewriters, watched just five TV channels, and put sugar in their coffee. There was no such thing as gluten-free, eco-friendly, satellite radio, or Made in China. But, thank goodness, there was the Yellow Pages–the giant directory that was delivered to anyone with a telephone (a telephone is a stationary device with a dial that one used to make phone calls) in which businesses placed their addresses and phone numbers and ads, and where their customers found them. Without the Yellow Pages, many small businesses would not have course, things have changed since. People are living longer, eating better, and conducting their lives from little mobile devices. Typewriters are gone, TV sets are portals into countless channels of mind-numbing content, and a Coke is now calorie-free. What about the Yellow Pages? Yup–still, many of us aren’t getting the Yellow Pages delivered to our doors anymore. But according to the company, more than 80 million people visit the site (or use their app) each month where there are more than 20 million businesses listed. “Not only that, ” YP chief marketing officer Allison Checchi told me “but the company has over a billion dollars in digital revenue, and this year will be the first year that we’ll have more revenue coming from digital than from print. ” The company also received Google’s 2014 North America Premier SMB Partner Award for “Highest Growth, ” an award given to the Google AdWords Premier SMB partner with the highest new AdWords revenue from new has YP transformed itself from a provider of phone books to an online directory giant? “We realized years ago that our business was all about search, ” said Checchi. “And we recognized that we had to change fast. ” So the company did. It continues to provide its phone books to millions of people who still require them (aren’t they adorable? ). But its online efforts include a major push with the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Yelp to power searches across their networks. Small businesses that list on not only get prospective eyeballs there, but also across other sites. And that has strengthened the company’s applies to your business too, particularly if you’ve been around for a while. Because maybe, like the Yellow Pages, it’s time for some changes in your marketing example, maybe it’s time for a name change. A few years ago, Yellow Pages rebranded itself as YP. The company didn’t abandon the brand–it was too strong to do that. But Yellow Pages realized it needed something new that would appeal to a different, younger audience. So the company talks about “YP” and “Yellow Pages” interchangeably. The website says “” but the logo is “YP. ” It’s a process that will likely go on for years and may ultimately lead to the shedding of the Yellow Pages name altogether. Or not. The company is giving itself future options. And by coming up with a combined name it is successfully able to hold on to its older customer base while still being attractive to a new maybe it’s time for new partnerships. Back in the day, a typical small business advertised in the Yellow Pages or in the newspaper. Today, we are inundated with choices. Locally, there are great players like ReachLocal, Dex Media, and Yodle, not to mention hundreds of independent consultants who can use a variety of resources to get the word out about your company. Even Google has to compete against Yahoo and Bing (and did you know that 30 percent of the online searches conducted use Bing technology? ). So in 2015 you partner. You find other players who can help you. You share revenue. That’s what Yellow Pages did with Google and others. And that’s what you may need to do too. It’s not about survival. It’s about changing your strategy and growing your business using new nally, you have to expand your reach. It’s not enough to just ship products anymore. You have to add on support, maintenance, training, and other services that can help your customers grow their businesses. And then you must pick multiple avenues for getting your message out. “We’re not just talking about advertising in the Yellow Pages, ” Checchi says. “We’re talking about managing marketing campaigns. Mobile apps and advertising. Integrations with third parties to reserve tables, book tickets, save at local stores. We’re helping our customers using email, search, and social media to expand their reach (and ours). ” Stay active. Speak. Write. Be more involved in the community. Always have news. Take a look at Yellow Page’s press releases and you’ll see what I mean–there’s always something going on. You can’t stand Yellow Pages successfully transition from an old-school telephone directory service for consumers and small businesses to an online local search player? I think it already has. Will your business make the same transition? Let’s hope so.
Frequently Asked Questions about yellow pages meaning
What are yellow pages used for?
The yellow pages are telephone directories of businesses, organized by category rather than alphabetically by business name, in which advertising is sold. The directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings.
What is yellow pages in Mobile?
Yellow Pages® Android is a free app that helps you find, select and connect with local businesses wherever you are in Australia.
Do the yellow pages still exist?
What about the Yellow Pages? Yup–still there. OK, many of us aren’t getting the Yellow Pages delivered to our doors anymore. But according to the company, more than 80 million people visit the YP.com site (or use their app) each month where there are more than 20 million businesses listed.Jan 28, 2015