Many posts that analyse the top business directories available to Australian businesses are focused only on the SEO value those directory listings provide.
This article delves wider and deeper, we will look back over the history of the directories and in addition to ranking the directories and their ability to help you with your SEO in Australia, we also provide information on their ability to send you business leads and their value for money. This list is reviewed every few months to make sure we maintain the best list.
Directories are now having far less effects on SEO and you should definitely be considering them more for how they can provide value by generating leads and providing new customers.
As such, rather than just looking at simple business directories we are also including quote/service marketplaces which have been rising in popularity, such as our own expertEasy. If you would like to be listed on expertEasy (it is now the fastest growing service marketplace in Australia), then head over to our how it works page to learn more about what we do.
“expertEasy is the fastest growing business directory in Australia.”
To make this the most comprehensive analysis you will find, we also include historical information we have gathered, you will notice a massive jump in the backlinks and linking domains for all sites between the 2015 and the 2018 figures, this is due to:
- Changes to what we are recording, we now include any link type, not just 'dofollow' links.
- Improvements in MOZ's crawler, they simply capture much more data now.
- Natural link growth on the sites.
It's also worth pointing out that MOZ updated their DA metric (on March 5th 2019), so you will see that in effect in the 2019 figures. We last updated the figures in July 2019.
What is a service marketplace?
They connect 'consumers' with services professionals. They generaly work like this: The professionals, register in one or more service categories and the consumers list their job on the platform. The professional's get notified of the jobs in their chosen categories and respond by sending the consumer a quote/proposal. The consumer then looks at the responses and chooses a service provider.
Over the last decade service marketplaces have been a fast growing online business model (notably in home improvement).
- The Internet giant Amazon launched Amazon Local Services, now called Amazon Home Services in November 2014.
- Ebay launched eBay Hire in February 2014 (similar to TaskRabbit in the USA and Airtasker in Australia)
- Google announced they are building a home services product (but later killed it).
- Freelancer.com started offering local services in addition to their core 'remote services' business model.
How we assessed the Business Directories value
Our top 10 ranking is weighted significantly by SEO metrics, the following metrics were used to ensure to assess the SEO value and risk of each site:
- Alexa Rank – Alexa is an organisation that ranks the top websites in the world in terms of traffic, all the figures we give below are the rank in Australia rather than the global rank as that is what is relevant to you.
- Moz Domain Authority – Often just referred to as DA, i'll let the Moz explain this as they developed it:
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score …. that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
- Moz Spam Risk - we haven't wasted your time giving you the figures for this, because all the directories here (and our own) have a very low spam rating, but we did check this and there were directories that were cut based on this.
However we have also seriously considered the value for money and the number of leads these directories will generate for your business.
Where possible we have found comments or surveyed business users to get a sense of what people think of the service. We tried to find both positive and negative comments, of course generally only frustrated customers tend to put their comments online, so take the comments with a pinch of salt. Despite the negativity of the comments they often reveal the cons of using the various services, so we felt they were worthwhile.
As per the article title all of these directories offer a free listing, of course they have to make money and we discuss some of their plans where the information was obtainable.
For those that just want to quickly see the ranking order, here it is the ranked list of directories:
- Yellow Pages
- Yelp Australia
- Service Seeking
- Flying Solo
- Start Local
- Service Central
Why Submit your Site to Local Business Directories
Before we dig into the full analysis, here are the main reasons why getting listed in a directory might be worth the investment:
1. Business Sales Leads
Let’s face it, the underlying reason to be listing in a business directory is to get more sales. If a business directory can achieve all of that, then it’s a great online marketing tool worth using. Tr
2. Quality Relevant Local Backlink
In 2018 link building should be more than ever focussed on quality not quantity. So getting a few good high quality and relevant links can help raise rankings across a whole range of keywords.
3. Local SEO and Citations
Most people with some knowledge of SEO know that links help to improve rankings. But what about Google Plus Business listings?
One of the main ranking factors for Google Places is something called citations. A citation is when an external website, such as a local business directory, includes your business’s address and it exactly matches the address on your business website. The important thing to remember is to keep all the details entered across listings consistent with your google my business page and your website. This creates trust with Google that your business is indeed located in the specified location and offers the services you are selling. Read more on why local citations matter.
How many Australia Business Directories should you submit to?
Unless you are listing on service marketplaces like expertEasy, Oneflare and Service Seeking then you only really want to both with the top directories. You’ll come across other articles listing 50, 100 or even 250 Australian business directory websites. They will waste your time or even damage your Google ranking, here is why:
- The websites have no traffic or value, some are even de-indexed by search engines
- Many directories have broken forms or are abandoned
- They are often scraped from old outdated lists
- They contain directories requiring payment, or some kind of linking scheme
For more relevant info here is a video from Google’s Head of Web Spam about links from business directories:
Four Tips for Adding Your Site to Local Business Listings
Make sure the directory has not included your business already, often the directories scrape information from other sites and your company may already be listed. Many directories allow you to search by business name, or you can do a site specific search via google, to do this put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov
If your business details are wrong, you should get the details corrected.
It’s a good idea to track your activity as you list your business on these sites so you don't duplicate your business listing or have old information all over the place.
Fill out all the details you can. It is better to write a few unique ones rather than copy from your own website to avoid duplication issues. You should create thorough and unique descriptions that really advertise what you offer.
Make sure your name, address and phone are 100% consistent across all directories. That means include suite numbers, phone number extension etc.
The full analysis
#1 Yellow Pages
As the 390th most visited website in Australia with a domain authority score of 86/100 and Owned by Sensis, Yellow Pages is a globally recognised of business directories and is still going strong in the online world.
<ahref="http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/538570/sensis_cut_800_jobs_after_telstra_sale/" target="_blank">Job cuts at Sensis suggest that it is becoming a more lean online business. Since Sensis acquired Truelocal at the start of 2013 they cross promote their advertising services.
Since Telstra sold 70% of Sensis (the directories subsidiaries) to a private equity firm called Platinum Equity for $454 million, things have changed a lot. Their goals are:
- Complete transition to a stand-alone enterprise.
- Execute on management’s plan to re-design business processes and increase operating efficiency.
- Renew focus on the core directories business including SEM and TrueLocal.
- Evaluate add-ons of complementary assets in the digital media or directories space.
See more at: http://www.platinumequity.com/sensis
The transition from print to digital has not been easy for Yellow Pages as people rely on Google searches and more feature rich directories. However they have begun to package up their listings in a more transparent way and the improved profiles are a more compelling experience for customers. In 2018 they launched their quoting feature, to compete with some of the more recent hybrid directories we discuss below.
Yellow Pages Australia has a Moz Domain Authority of 86/100.
Yellow Pages Listing Types and Prices
The Free Ad listing provides basic business information and a (nofollow) link to your website.
Yellow Pages offers five types of promotional listings. Since 2014 they simplified their packages. Years ago pricing had a range, in 2014 it was just a fixed amount which was much easier to understand, now their prices say 'from':
- Bronze from $30/mth (self managed)
- Silver from $59/mth (managed)
- Gold from $144/mth (managed)
- Platinum for $217 (managed)
The Bronze listing provides you with a basic content marketing tool, an FAQ. This is a decent tool since it fills your profile with content that you can use to attract customers, additionally the Select listing removes competitor’s ads from your profile which can take potential customers away from your own profile.
The Silver listing is a managed Select listing. An account manager will create the profile for you and apparently promote it on social media. This could possibly be worthwhile if you would rather not spend time playing with your own profile.
The Gold listing is for businesses that have multiple locations and teams.
Platinum is for big brands. The profile can showcase products and services with media rich promotional tiles (image galleries, embedded videos etc).
What People are Saying about Yellow Pages
“I find yellow pages online lead costs about 10 times more expensive than pay per click for local services.
Here’s some data for a local service business over a period of 6 mths:
Yellow pages costs $8472 giving 52 sales leads average cost of $162.92
Adwords costs $14469.37 giving 930 sales leads average costs $15.56
Pay per click advertising and SEO must be where you invest initially. Don’t even consider other forms of paid advertising until you have a properly tuned pay per click account.”
“I met with YP online wanting to assess their current offers. I couldn’t believe they insisted on a contract which saw us paying $hundreds per month whether they were effective or not. Don’t recall if it was 6 or 12 months. Very 1990’s and miles behind modern CPC / trial type offers available elsewhere. If and when they’re willing to prove their effectiveness a trial of sorts, I think they’re probably worth a go.”
Review Source: Flying Solo Forums
“Avoid this company there customer service is terrible, they promise you good service and great products with yellow pages online but don't want to know you after signing up and don't honor there side of the contract. Complete rip off. Google there name and you will find of similar story”
SEO Metrics for Yellow Pages
|Moz Domain Authority||88||85||86||77||58|
|Alexa Rank||Not recorded||118||150||402||441|
In 2014 Yellow Pages had a massive 600% increase in the number of indexed pages. This suggests more content, more business listings, more results pages. In 2015 their DA increased by 1, it suggests that whatever content Yellow Pages is producing is working well for them. That and the fact they got an additional 222 new domains linking to them. In terms of overall SEO Yellow Pages is the winner here.
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Yellow Pages in Australia
Final Thoughts on Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages listings seem much more functional than TrueLocal, but only if you pay for their higher plans. For many small local businesses, Yellow Pages offers a convenient alternative to maintaining and marketing a website. A website with the equivalent functionality of the Premium Listing mighty cost around $2,000 because it would require a back-end work rather than just a nice themed front end.
Of course business growth is limited using only the promotional tools of Yellow Pages whereas an owned and customisable website essentially has no limits, the cost you should focus on is Cost per Lead and as Tony Pfitzner pointed out, the cost per lead with Yellow Pages is more expensive than AdWords. However I think the comments about pricing are based on an old model that has been replaced with the listing packages. The search results ranking of Yellow Pages is still great.
The links from Yellow Page profiles are nofollow so they won’t pass “link juice” to your website. However given the profiles are attractive and customisable some small businesses might decide they don't need a website, especially if yellow pages are driving enough traffic to their profile. While interest in Yellow Pages has been steadily declining since 2007, it still has a higher market share than the other directories.
The search results ranking power is still there (Yellow Pages ranks well for keywords like gardener melbourne and the website overall is easy to use.
The parent company (sensis) does have terrible reviews on productreview.com.au so I would be very wary of locking yourself into any contracts.
Truelocal is a site you will see a lot on the Google search results pages. With a domain authority of 75, it is a very valuable web property. Truelocal has some powerful partner sites (Careerone, mX, Whitepages, Sensis) which help it consistently achieve good rankings and get plenty of referral traffic.
In 2014 Truelocal was the 98th most visited website in Australia, in november 2018 it had dropped to 851st most visited website...in 2019 down to 1,137th.
Since 2014 Truelocal has dropped from 98th most visited website in Australia to 1,137th.
Truelocal Listing Prices
Truelocal offers five types of listings/ads:
- Basic Listing for $33 p/m
- Priority Listing from $99 p/m
- Top of List (upon request)
- Tile & Strip display ads (upon request)
The Free listing allows you to link (nofollow) back to your own website, create price lists and promote deals on the website.
The Basic listing provides additional branding features (a little like an eBay listing), highlights in their search results and a boosted rank in their search results.
The Priority listing adds video, click and view reports, reporting on your listing performance and an optional 1300 number with a messaging service.
Their premium service get's you to the top of the search results pages. The pricing isn’t listed as it varies for each industry and the breadth of locations.
What People are Saying about Truelocal
“Do not list with TrueLocal – they won’t allow you to remove listing, therefore don’t respect your privacy, tell you to refer to obscure terms and conditions that don’t clearly state that the listing can’t be removed, can update the terms and conditions without notice, encourage inveterate reviewers who may have limited knowledge of the business or product being reviewed (I have seen many businesses unfairly reviewed by one particular reviewer who obviously reviewed with limited information).”
SEO Metrics for Truelocal
|Moz Domain Authority||79||76||72||75||62|
|Alexa Rank||Not recorded||98||234||851||1,137|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Truelocal
Final Thoughts on Truelocal
While the website offers lots of user generated content, I find the overall design of Truelocal is cluttered. The profiles are basic compared to yellow pages and don’t allow for strong branding. However the introduction of consumer profiles and badges that reward users for submitting reviews helps them to compete with the likes of Yelp. Since 2014 they placed more empasis on promoting “Local Stars” or people that are passionate about leaving reviews, similar to Yelp’s Elite program and was a good step forward. In 2014 Truelocal teamed up with Quotify (and before that with Service Seeking). Now there is not any partnership with a quotes/services marketplace as Quotify was shut down a long time ago, they seem to be focussed more on cafes and other destination based businesses rather than service providers.
Truelocal comes in at #2 based on the features, usability and its SEO ranking power.
#3. Yelp Australia
Yelp is a huge brand in the USA and launched in 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne. Since it’s launch Yelp has really been kicking goals. It had a strong partnership with Sensis (Yellow Pages profiles included reviews from Yelp) and was been growing steadily. While they are mostly focused on hospitality, they also include services categories.
Their domain authority shot up a while back and number of indexed pages is over 27 million which is a increase of 630%. Interestingly the number of links dropped, so they are clearly cleaning up their link profile which has worked well for them. It’s important to note that in the case of Yelp Australia, less links and linking domains but more indexed pages has made a significant increase in DA. This supports the idea that fewer high quality links are more important than lots of low quality links.
Their review system is famous and can be easily aggregated across different websites. depending on how well Yelp and Google are getting on, reviews on Yelp will likely contribute to ranking in the three businesses in the Google local pack.
Yelp Listing Pricing
Yelp has two options:
- Enhanced Listing for $75 12 months (based on US site)
- Cost Per Click (CPC) Advertising Program starting at $2 per click (based on US site)
The Enhanced Listing does what many directories do. It removes competitors ads, adds an image gallery and a reporting dashboard.
The CPC program provides advertises with a service similar to AdWords where you bid for clicks to your profile.
What People are Saying about Yelp
“Running a business I was saddened to see a poor review on yelp. So decided to follow up to try and fix the problem for the customer. After a couple of minutes of legwork I realised it was a fake review and reported it. I also tried contacting yelp on numerous occasions explaining how I could prove this. Such as more reviews written on the same day for the same service at different establishments. Now 2 years on a few customers have left good reviews and they were all removed. I know of at least four. I know this for a fact because they told me and they were legitimate reviews. My point is I would never ever trust a review on yelp.”
SEO Metrics for Yelp Australia
|Moz Domain Authority||Not Recorded||58||63||65||57|
|Linking Domains||Not recorded||163||51||10,800||10,400|
|Alexa Rank||Not recorded||302||315||819||961|
Final Thoughts on Yelp Australia
In terms of SEO, Yelp Australia was the fasted growing business directory out of these ten back in 2014/2015. However they have run out of steam in recent years.
Back in 2014, Hotfrog was estimated to have the highest share of monthly visitors and the assumption was that Hotfrog was using user generated content to build traffic.
Hotfrog enables it’s users to publish announcements which are displayed on the homepage. This creates online real estate where users compete for attention and in the process Hotfrog generates regular unique content. This explains how it in 2014 Hotfrog got 5,910,000 pages in Google’s indexed compared to 1,700,000 for Truelocal. However in 2015, the number of pages dropped 16%. This likely due to a natural decline in users which leads to less user generated content.
The announcements are a mutually beneficial arrangement since every update generates a unique page of content with a backlink to your website. Hotfrog can provide you with more than just a profile link back to your website, it provides you with what is essentially a PR tool than can generates links every time you post.
The profiles themselves are basic and not very visually appealing. The paid profile does allow for a basic image gallery but that’s about it. Compared to what the Yellow Pages offers, Hotfrog profiles aren’t going to be replacing the need for a website.
Hotfrog Listing Price
Hotfrog keep it simple with Hotfrog Advantage plan which is $19.95 p/m with no lock-in contracts. The benefits of the AdVantage plans are:
- No competitor ads on your profile
- Allows you to create an ad in results pages
- Have an ad for your profile shown on competitors profiles
- Allows for logos and images to brand awareness
- Priority listing in results pages
- Image gallery
- Analytics to measure effectiveness
What People are Saying About Hotfrog
“I decided to add a listing to hotfrog and cancelled within minutes. After registration there was then an option to ban marketers from calling – TOO LATE! As within a couple of minutes my mobile phone rings with someone marketing goodness knows what to me. I was so angry and immediately came in to cancel the listing and complain. The only good point was that it was simple to delete the listing, but how many spam emails and further phone calls might come will remain to be seen. Totally untrustworthy, the no marketers option should be on first page and no one should be able to call like that, I have never had such an experience before and will avoid directory sites completely from now”
Review Source: Webutations
SEO Metrics for Hotfrog
|Moz Domain Authority||78||63||59||69||52|
|Alexa Rank||Not recorded||743||966||10,167||10,125|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Hotfrog
Final Thoughts on Hotfrog
I would say Hotfrog is a decent option if you are on a budget.
In terms of SEO, in 2014 Hotfrog took a bigger hit from recent Google algorithm changes than Yellow Pages and Truelocal slipping 15 points in Moz authority and losing 161,518 links. in 2015 that negative trend continued, in 2015 it looked clear that Hotfrog was struggling to compete with the likes of Yelp, Yellow Pages and the emerging service marketplaces, however by 2018 it has gained some ground back with a crazy amount of backlinks.
If you have an optimised advert and take advantage of the user updates features you could generate some leads worth more than the $19.95 per month. However, ensure you tick the “No Telemarketers” option or it seems from the comment above that they will sell your data on to a telemarketing company.
#5. Start Local
While Start Local doesn’t quite make it into the top 1000 most visited sites, it makes up for it by the fact that it allows for a dofollow link and provides promotional tools such as Deals and Catalogues. With so many other businesses competing for a visitor’s attention, a directory that provides promotional tools is definitely something worth checking out.
The Catalogues section of the website promotes retail catalogues, however it looks like it just recycles content from www.cataloguecentral.com.au. It’s not clear if the brands pay to promote their catalogues on Start Local.
The interface like many directories is lacking, making it difficult to decide what to click on next. The profile design is also pretty poor which in-turn affects conversions (potential customers clicking through to your website or calling you).
Start local was acquired by hipages in 2016
If you are wondering why hipages does not make this top 10, it is due to their pricing, while established businesses on their platform may make a return on their fees paid we simply cannot recommed it for businesses starting out or looking to grow.
What People are Saying about Start Local
I couldn’t find anything much about Start Local. That’s not really a bad thing since mostly only people with a negative experience have the motivation to post reviews (unless incentivised to post a positive review).
SEO Metrics for Start Local
|Moz Domain Authority||56||55||62||49|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Start Local
Start Local Final Thoughts
Start local's Starpoints system rewards users for reviewing businesses with points which can be redeemed for cash prizes. On the surface it’s a good idea, but the quality of those reviews can be pretty low since the user is really only interested in the prizes. Yelp encountered the same problem so started it’s Elite users program which focused on getting reviews from people genuinely interested in providing reputable reviews.
As for the profiles capacity to generate leads, it’s something you will need to test. For $99 you can buy a featured listing for a whole region and test it for a month. I recommend using Google’s URL builder to track various links you put on their site.
Oneflare is a hybrid directory and quote marketplace. Similar to Service Seeking Oneflare is mostly focused on selling leads rather than a basic listing. Oneflare has seen some excellent SEO results since 2014 and has been in the media with some aquisitions. Oneflare bought the “Renovate Forum” to gain access to some 40,000 users and WOMO in early 2015. It’s likely that Oneflare will aggregate the reviews from WOMO to the business profiles on their own business profiles.
In 2014 Oneflare was taking risks when they were breaking some Google rules by buying links with their badge program. Google recommends adding the nofollow for paid links. Oneflare has since changed the reward for adding a badge from money to points to comply with Google’s link policy.
Oneflare has a good clean interface and makes it easy to find profiles and request quotes. While the links are NOT follow, it displays the address so it will help with local rankings and NAP citations (see earlier in this article). In 2015 things were looking up for Oneflare. Their DA score increased by 6, linking domains increased by 96 and had the biggest increase in indexed pages of this top ten increasing a whopping 1129.59%.
“Oneflare’s indexed pages increased from 196,000 to 2,410,000 in 12 months.”
In May 2016 the domain group made a $15 million investment in Oneflare acquiring a 35% stake.
In 2018 Oneflare made two acquisitions first urbanyou in July and in November they acquired tidyme. The CEO Billy Tucker said he expects the full-service model to become “vitally important”, the context of this is that tidyme and urbanyou are closer to being employers as they select the service provider for the customer and handle payments.
Oneflare Historical Prices
We have some historical data on this, in 2014 oneflare had four plans:
- Starter, up to 3 quotes for $24 p/m
- Basic up to 7 quotes for $49 p/m
- Advanced for up to 15 quotes for $99 p/m
- Professional for up to 30 quotes for $179 p/m
In 2015 their plans had temporarily dropped in price significantly and they increased the number of quotes you can send:
- Starter, up to 3 quotes for $7 p/m
- Basic up to 10 quotes for $20 p/m
- Advanced for up to 20 quotes for $35 p/m
- Professional for up to 40 quotes for $65 p/m
When we looked in early 2018 their prices had shot up to be very similar to their 2014 pricing, but offering fair value if you were able to buy their larger packages.
- Starter, up to 5 quotes for $35 p/m
- Basic up to 10 quotes for $60 p/m
- Advanced for up to 20 quotes for $100 p/m
- Professional for up to 40 quotes for $180 p/m
It was/is safe to presume something like a cleaning category would be one with the lowest prices.
Oneflare Prices Today
In late 2018 they switched to credit based pricing like we use and in 2019 their helpsite states: "Quote prices are based on the popularity of the job and calculated using factors such as the amount of competition or demand in the job location."
Obviously we like credit based pricing, we choose it ourselves because it means you only pay for what you use, we also think it's fine to put an expiry date on packages of quotes. We are slightly suspicious on the pricing varying "based on the popularity of the job", while this could be a good thing if it only results in a price drop, I doubt that is the case and leaves you never really knowing what you will need to pay till the last moment when you may be in a rush.
What People are Saying about Oneflare
“Why oh why did I not see this website before signing on to oneflare. Oneflare is very clever at attracting new tradies.
I received a text from [contact details removed] stating oneflare has a job for me. I responded. Filled out the information and surprise 15 minutes later I was the successful winning quote.
I responded to the email address I now received to thank the new client for their business and to get their attendance address and phone number. I received another text the next day. Same procedure.
Now I received an email saying it costs $15 to quote or a monthly fee package. I signed up for a monthly package. A few days passed and I still had no response for the original job I had initially won.
I have also had a few more wins but never any ability to contact these clients apart from emails.
I have a strong suspicion that oneflare makes jobs up and gets around $45 per fake job from unsuspecting tradies like me.
I also tested the system by signing in as a customer looking for a quote but I did not get a job come through to me as a tradie.
I did get one response from a tradie and I explained the situation to him and we met and I gave him $15 for his quote. I am sure there are real customers out there but not enough to make me keep my subscription.
Just my opinion. Hope this helps anyone out there thinking of joining. :)”
“As a concrete business in Melbourne we had a couple of options to advertise our business. We tried the normal directories but we realised people nowadays use google rather than going through the directories. Tried a couple of “lead generating” businesses and found Oneflare gave us the most quotes and the best value in terms of $/quote. Will recommend over traditional directories and other competitors.”
Review Source: Product Review
SEO Metrics for Oneflare
|Moz Domain Authority||Not recorded||38||44||60||47|
|Linking Domains||Not recorded||58||154||5,600||5,600|
|Alexa Rank||Not recorded||Unknown||1,158||1,303||1,463|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Oneflare
Final Thoughts on Oneflare
Quote marketplaces are a great idea but they generally favour the consumer getting quotes. Looking at the product review page for Oneflare and Service Seeking we see that most of the reviews are from consumers who are happy to have so easily obtained quotes. However it is often difficult to find businesses with positive experiences.
Based on our own experience with expertEasy there can be a few consumers who are not ready to hire someone, they just want to compare quotes to make sure they are getting a fair deal.
To prevent ‘tire kickers’ we are starting to add more targeted questions and displaying cost guides using the quote data submitted. We have also done a few guides as blog posts such as our handyman cost guide
For some categories we are also providing a cost guide on landing pages, the next step will be in context with the service request forms and potentially we could even have the estimate update in real time so consumers can get an idea of the cost. If they want real quotes, then they can go ahead and request.
#7. Service Seeking
Service Seeking is part of the growing collection of platforms (such as Oneflare, Home Improvement Pages, Thumbtack in the USA and of course our very own expertEasy) that are focused on results driven services. Instead of simply creating a profile and hoping for the best, you are paying for actual sales leads. Service Seeking provides customers with a quote comparison offer and qualified leads to service providers.
Service Seeking was among the first of these platforms in Australia and kickstarted it's journey when it was partnered with Truelocal before it’s acquisition from Sensis. Despite the loss of this partnership, service Seeking partnered with many other websites that still drive traffic, however Service Seeking has struggled to raise funding from investors since late 2014 amid flat revenue growth and a change to the pricing model.
In 2014 Service Seeking was the 609th most visited website in Australia. In 2015 Service Seeking dropped to the 902nd most visited site and in 2018 it is down to 1,557th most visited.
Service Seeking had an impressive 12,600,000 pages indexed in 2014. In 2015 they had nearly doubled that to 21,600,000. They also had a very impressive number of links built in 12 months increasing linking domains from 1,666 to 4,110. Despite this huge growth in links and index pages, their DA score dropped from 48 to 42 between 2014 and 2015, supporting the idea that fewer high quality (and relevant) links are worth more than even link diversity. Service Seeking improved it’s DA between 2015 and 2018, but like most sites here the MOZ DA changes show a drop in 2019.
Service Seeking Listing Prices
The plans for Service Seeking depend on the service industries and the work redius you select. However it works like this:
- 3km coverage from $50 p/m
- 4km coverage from $75 p/m
- 6km coverage from $125 p/m
What People are Saying about Service Seeking
“I am not too impressed with them. Now they have reduced the quotes by shutting them down after 12 quotes are received. So I have typically 2 hours or less to quote or I will miss out.”
“Yeah I tried it for web design 2 years ago, the enquiries that came through relating to web design were totally useless. I quoted on a couple, but basically always got undercut so it was just pointless. And you can’t fully sell your product, and the differentiation in 1 paragraph, so a lot of people would just go for the lowest bit.
Plus a lot of the web requests themselves were ridiculous… They’d say things like :
– I need a web site for my business
– Need cheap website
I’m not going to waste my money trying to quote on a job with an 8 word brief…”
Review Source: Product Review
SEO Metrics for Service Seeking
|Moz Domain Authority||48||42||59||43|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Service Seeking
Service Seeking Final Thoughts
Service Seeking is one of the biggest quote marketplaces in Australia. However this also means having to compete with many other suppliers.
You will quote against as many as 12 other people. The lack of personalisation when quoting also makes it difficult to differentiate your business, especially against businesses that already have a large number of positive reviews. Despite these drawbacks if you have your quoting/proposal process optimised, I think Service Seeking is worth giving a fair go.
WOMO, founded in 2007 and when it was one of the fastest growing online review sites in Australia with over 417,000 reviews it was subsequently
acquired by Oneflare early in 2015. It's DA has actually gone down since.
“WOMO now has over 440,000 reviews of local Australian businesses.”
In addition to a business profile WOMO has an offers section will allows businesses to promote local deals which is a nice marketing tool for local businesses and a great way for WOMO to get user generated content.
The main difference between WOMO and a traditional directory is that WOMO amplifies the review content on the website so that when looking for a service, you are searching and evaluating based on what people have said about the business.
What People are Saying about WOMO
“Businesses can pay word of mouth for more exposure, delete the negative reviews and send in their own from “review cards” sent to them that “customers” can fill out.
This was offered to my place of work but we refused as it was unethical and if we are getting bad reviews we are doing something wrong.”
Review Source: Whirlpool
SEO Metrics for WOMO
|Moz Domain Authority||55||52||38|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for WOMO
WOMO Final Thoughts
WOMO may be worth taking the time to create a profile on. However depending on how much time you have, managing and responding to reviews across many sites can become difficult. There is also a trust factor with these reviews. If anyone can review, how reliable are they? There are potentially many fake negative reviews causing problems for you and fake positive reviews which mislead the consumer (and won't help the dishonest companies in the long run).
#9. Flying Solo
In 2014 Flying Solo was ranked 356th most visited website in Australia, but has dropped to 11,225 in late 2018. Flying Solo is more than just a directory for advertising services, it’s a real community with strong participation
Flying Solo also has an excellent blog that accepts guest posts and covers a range of topics such as Technology, Finance and Marketing. If you are looking to get exposure through blogging to a community of over 76,000, then Flying Solo is the place to do it. And of course, any posts you write can link back to your website (within guidelines) or to your directory profile.
The directory listings are very basic but they do have a spotlight series to draw attention to newcomers and businesses they want to highlight along with their own advertising system which usually costs around $350 for 100,000 impressions. Unfortunately the administration tools are pretty clunky and and the interface can be slow to load at time.
While Flying Solo certainly doesn’t stand out with any SEO metrics, it wins our “Community Award.” and it's the potentially networking benefits that have caused us to list it here.
Flying Solo Listing Prices
In addition to their 'Basic' free plan, Flying Solo has two paid plans:
- Community Membership for $99 per year
- Business Class for $299.95 per year
The Community Membership plan has a lot of additional benefits. Your directory listing is promoted across the site, enables dofollow links in your profile, mentions on their social media channels (they have 39,000 fans on Facebook) and discounted ads that run across the site. The Business Class plan has the benefit of a full page promo (I think this is their spotlight series).
SEO Metrics for Flying Solo
|Moz Domain Authority||57||53||52||50|
|'Dofollow' Link||Yes (paying members)||Yes (paying members)||Yes (paying members)|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Flying Solo
Final Thoughts on Flying Solo
Once again if you are on a budget, this is a great option. Even though the Flying Solo website does not have the same SEO ranking power as the others, it has a very active community which means you will likely find sales leads just by participating. Since they are also very active on social media, they will generate qualified traffic that will find your profile if you are advertising there.
#10. Service Central
ServiceCentral was one of the pioneers in the Services Marketplace space and the first to launch the model in Australia in 2005, since adopted by the likes of Service Seeking, Oneflare and expertEasy. It’s a services marketplace with verified reviews. Whilst this marketplace has been operating for nearly 14 years, we don’t have data prior to 2015.
ServiceCentral doesn’t boast the same SEO metrics as the other service marketplaces and it does not rank very high in visited sites in Australia, however I have read that that the vast majority of work that Service Central distributes is for Commercial Services.
Unfortunately ServiceCentral does not list their pricing publicly so I cannot report anything here.
ServiceCentral was acquired by tradingpost.com.au in 2016, unfortunately there has been a flood of negative reviews on productreview.com.au since then.
What People are Saying about Service Central
“After promising me $20000.00 of work for $2000.00 I though I would give it a go. After 18 months I have had nothing and I have one given up on them. Their leads proved to be a waste of my time. After accepting leads I have people not return my calls or messages. No trial and no refund. No advice or support given.
“I was with Service Central in 2014 was quite good the sales staff were very busy and committed to gaining top ranking on google however after a year or so their ranking started to slip and so did the job leads. I was contacted by the new owners yesterday offering me free website free this free that plus steak knives for $1500 stating that the tradingpost had just purchased the website / business and I would be an Ambassador?? I see the business was actually purchased back in 2016 ?? I didn't receive the promised email today and the operator seemed disinterested when I didn't give her my credit card details for payment on the spot?? I will give them a wide berth now”
Reviews sourced from productreview.com.au
SEO Metrics for Service Central
|Moz Domain Authority||40||52||46|
Google Trends Interest Over Time for Service Central
Service Central Final Thoughts
Service Central doesn’t appear to have a strong presence anymore, depending on your line of work it may deliver new customers, however it does have an awfull lot of recent negative comments on productreview.com.au which is why it is now on the bottom of our list.
Australian Business Directory Awards 2019
Best Profile Award: Yellow Pages – Click to Tweet this Award
Most Active Reviewers: WOMO – Click to Tweet this Award
Biggest Impact on SEO: StartLocal – Click to Tweet this Award
Most Active Community: Flying Solo – Click to Tweet this Award