Do you remember the Yellow Pages? The huge yellow book that had more information that you knew what to do with… yea, that one. But then ask yourself this, “When was the last time I actually looked at it?”

The Yellow Pages, just like many other things, is becoming obsolete. It once was a great place to advertise your business, but not so much anymore. Other bigger and better ways to advertise came about, like the Internet for example.

Statistics show that the Yellow Pages advertisements were once extremely helpful, but they are not nearly as effective today. There are other, more successful, means of advertising in the digital world today.

Yellow Page Customer StatisticsYellow Page Ad Stats

1. Today, more than 70% of the population admits to “rarely or never” uses their Yellow Pages. On top of that, less than 50% of the population (mainly ages 55+) has used a phone book in the past year.

Even Yellow Pages themselves has admitted that it’s a dying industry!

Why would you want to continue advertising with a company that even admits that what they specialize in is a dying industry?

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2. These two graphs by BIA Kelsey show the local ad market/local media shares. These show a comparison (one is from 2013, the other is a forecast for 2018) of the same media outlets. It’s clear that Print Yellow Pages and Internet Yellow Pages advertisements have declined (or projected to decline) and Internet/Interactive is going to rise.

It’s also noticeable that almost all media outlets are projected to decline and the Internet will rise in regards to advertising shares.


Yellow Page Ad Statistics


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Thanks to for the graph!

3. As you can see from this graph of 3,000 Canadians (aged 16-35), 80.3% of them (roughly 2,400 people) said they used a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, over the Yellow Pages.

We now live in the “digital age”, where the majority of the information is looked up online with the ease of a few simple clicks. Most people find it easier to just use Google or Yahoo to find out information about a business/service, rather than flip through the Yellow Pages to find the same business/service.

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Thanks to for the graph and for the picture!

4. This graph shows the very sudden but obvious decline of actual pages and ad pages in the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages has been nearly split in half in just four years. Ad pages also have decreased since 2012-2013 alone. What will it be like in the next four years?!

As you can see from the image, the Denver Yellow Pages was nearly half as big in 2010 than it was in 2006. Only a four year difference and that wasn’t at the highest point of the “digitial age” either. Has the Denver Yellow Pages split in half of that in 2014?

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Thanks to for the graph!

5. This graph of 2,504 responses shows which on-line site was most used to find a local business. With an obvious winner, Google was the most used search engine to use when trying to find a local business. 85.7%, or 2,145 responses prefered either Google or none of the search engines listed. Roughly 345 responses of the 2,504 answered used Yellow Pages when searching for a local business.

Yellow Pages was still used more than Yelp or Angie’s List to search for a business or service, but that number should be expected to change in the next year.

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Thanks to for the graph!

6. Here, it compares the revenues of print and online advertising from 2003 to 2012. It clearly shows that revenue has decreased significantly since 2007, especially in print advertising, but with online advertising revenues increasing slightly through the years.

The Decision

The decision is solely up to you on whether you want to advertise still using the Yellow Pages or not. There is no one forcing you to stop advertising with the Yellow Pages, only the statistics and the information backing up on why it isn’t worth the money to continue advertising with them.

We live in a digital world where kids younger and younger are learning one thing – how to use the Internet. In a short amount of time, print advertising, much like the TV Guide, VCRs and CDs, will become obsolete.

So ask yourself one question before deciding on whether to continue with advertising with the Yellow Pages, “Do I want to stay up with the times, or do I want to remain stuck in the Stone Age?”