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Yellow Pages Provider Testing Voice-Enabled Local Search

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Print and online Yellow Pages provider R.H. Donnelley is testing a new voice-enabled local search solution, dubbed "1-800-CallDex." The service, currently available in the Denver, Phoenix, Spokane and Tucson markets, provides free directory assistance (free DA) and local category search for consumers seeking businesses. The service provides addresses, phone numbers, business descriptions, hours of operation, payment methods and other information.

Free DA is a growing area, with limited consumer adoption and even more limited advertiser pick-up. The field is wide open to grab market share, with Jingle's 800-free411, AT&T's 1-800-yellowpages and Goog411 among the competitors.

R.H. Donnelley teamed up with Toronto-based Call Genie to power the service with its Enhanced Voice Directory (EVD) product. The latest release of the product allows consumers in 1-800-CallDex markets to refine their searches by referencing landmarks, neighborhoods and intersections. The system continuously updates itself to reflect how local residents refer to specific landmarks or locations.

R.H. Donnelley has made several moves to bring its offline dominance online. In July, the company announced its intent to acquire Business.com. This follows its 2005 acquisition of Dex Media, and the September 2006 acquisition of SEO/SEM firm LocalLaunch.

Just last week, the company announced an expanded relationship with Yahoo Local, distributing its online yellow pages data on Yahoo's network and streamlining the Yahoo Local ad-buying process for its print yellow pages advertisers.


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