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Search engines such as Google Maps carry a significant number of business listings, often rivaling and sometimes exceeding the number of listings found in the traditional online yellow pages.

These search engine results are a very effective way to reach new customers.

At Hand debuted with approximately 1.2 million merchant listings from across California.

At the time, the service was competing with Big Book.com, a nationwide Web directory that was since absorbed by Super Pages.

The reason for this is that traditional yellow pages publishers, such as the phone companies, have big sales forces to approach local businesses.

A similar system called Phonebase for published residential phone numbers was discontinued in the 1990s, being superseded a web-based search interface.The venture utilized the highly recognized brand name to become the market leader in local search (Internet).At the time of acquisitions, it was expected that the Yellow site would receive more than 50 million consumer searches per month.The first true online Yellow Pages, was a creation based on the independent YP publisher in Seattle, Washington called Banana Pages.This was the first print directory which was registered with both YPPA (the Yellow Pages Publishers Association), and the ADP (Association of Directory Publishers) to place their listings online.