free html hit counter Please, Don't Make Me Yell - John Battelle's Search Blog

Please, Don't Make Me Yell

By - January 11, 2008

Google has no reason to buy a Yellow Pages company. Does it? I’ve railed about this before, the sourcing at British newspapers is nearly as bad as second class blogs. Listen to this little bit of sourcing gymnastics:

The Independent newspaper in the U.K. reported today that a “market source heard talk of a 500 pence-per-share bid” for Yell by Google. Spokespeople for Yell and Google couldn’t be reached immediately to comment.

Jesus. And I woke up and thought that Google might buy Circuit City out of Chapter 11, so I printed it.


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4 thoughts on “Please, Don't Make Me Yell

  1. Dan Richardson says:

    Unfortunately it has been forever so here in the UK! The press still lives by the old adage ‘Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story’

  2. Rob says:

    Yes, that mysterious “Mr Source” does get about a bit. Nearly as much as “Mr Insider”. Anybody that still believes hacks within the national press in Britain still look for two sources before printing are more than a little nieve.

    Having said all of that i do believe that the quality of journalism in the UK remains higher than it is anywhere else in the world.

    Its also true to say that some journalists at tabloids… of which the Indie seems to be trying to copy have vivid imaginations.

  3. Desire Athow says:

    Guys, guys, guys… It is all down to a quiet week and some watercooler talk.. except that rather than talking about the new hot chick, they talk about Google’s next billion pound acquisition… Snip from the article…

    “As the market donned tin hats for a second day of losses, only Yell Group had traders shouting about potential takeovers; the latest reheated bid story on a quiet week.”

    “Another source said: “These rumours were doing the rounds about a year ago. Normally they would come out as idle chat on a quiet day.””

    More seriously though… Yell would allow Google to exploit the UK SME/Corporate sector more effectively as Yellow Pages are still big business here. There’s a potentially lucrative match to be done with Google Maps but…

    At USD 5 bn, Yell might be a bit too expensive for Google… Better invest elsewhere or wait for the stock prices to fall even more. As a footnote, Yell, unlike say Youtube, is all about Quality, not quantity. It is the 124th most visited website in the UK but managed to generate more than USD 4 bn worth of revenue in 2007 with profits of nearly 500m.

    Just a few lines for your ramblings.

  4. Thomas says:

    I am a former Yellow Book employee. It would not surprise me at all if Google decided to buy Yell for the entire package it would bring them. Especially with Yell being down 50% (aprx.) from where the were a year ago. Yell corporate has made a huge push in the last 12 months to really pump up online advertising from all customers. Yes, it could be to just improve overall profit, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they were making themselves much more attractive for a “google” type company. $5 billion wouldn’t put a dent into Brin & Co’s fortune & it would give them a 5,000 person sales force to market to small/mid range businesses in major markets. We’ll just have to wait & see.