Jan 08 2007

TrueLocal Australia – Exposure Can’t Buy Success

News Limited’s (News Interactive) truelocal (a local business search directory) launched in Australia on the 30 January, 2006 with the Headline “Not Happy Jan? Try truelocal.com.au“. Which is a play on the well known Yellowpages.com.au advertisement with the catchphrase “Not Happy, Jan!”. I’m going to do my best to be objective here (disclosure: I am involved in a competing online business directory site dLook.com.au)

TrueLocal has received a lukewarm reception. See here, here, here and here. And then there’s the controversy over the truelocal.com v truelocal.com.au where it was suggested that truelocal.com.au was trying to cash in on the truelocal.com name. WIPO found that truelocal.com.au was justified in registering the domain name, which highlighted the need to register domain names in countries you intend to target your services to.

Despite their strong internet presence, with news.com.au, homesite.com.au etc, aggressive (and often irrelevant) Google Adwords Campaigns – see here and here for example, their “win a $10,000 Spending Spree” competition (which requires giving up your email address for pretty much any purpose) and their old media advertising network, they are failing.

Coming up to their first anniversary, and with very deep pockets, they are really pushing to maintain visitors, as well as advertisers. Consider the following graphs from Alexa.com:-

Truelocal vs dLook Rank

This graph shows how closely TrueLocal.com.au and dLook.com.au have been competing in the last 6 months (dLook launched on 25th April 2006), despite the advertising advantages afforded to TrueLocal. And below, how dLook really maintains the edge when it comes to daily page views per million.

TrueLocal vs dLook - Page Views Per Million

In summary, despite vastly deep pockets, TrueLocal is lagging behind dLook – according to Alexa. The reason – consumers vote with their feet mouse (or is that mice?).

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “TrueLocal Australia – Exposure Can’t Buy Success”

  1. Happy Harryon 10 Jan 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I agree. After wasting some time doing some bacic searches on truelocal.com.au I have come up with a new name for them. “TrueJokell”.
    DLook.com.au and Yellow pages are a much better search.
    Happy Harry

  2. Megon 10 Jan 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for your comment Harry – I do like your new name 😉

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks http://www.Truelocal.com.au searches are pitiful.

    I have to say though – can you get quotes anonymously from up to 10 businesses at a time through Yellow Pages? Also, I notice that http://www.yellowpages.com.au have copied our idea of having a form of “discount coupons” although I note they call these “Yellow Offers (TM)”.

    Thanks for your visit.


  3. […] that is so far inferior to the competition that it’s not funny. Another prime example of exposure not buying success. Sensis (who also run the White Pages (R) and Yellow Pages (R) directories, among other sites) […]

  4. […] dLook, particularly using our “refine your search” options). TrueLocal is a whole other kettle of fish. You have to give preference to paying customers, or else what’s the incentive to pay? […]

  5. […] It shouldn’t be too hard. […]

  6. snoopon 12 Jun 2007 at 8:13 am

    They(news truelocal) will get there.
    Its the first few hundred meters of a marathon being run now.
    Dlook will find it difficult to find the right way to sell listings…and the dating welll…tacky.

  7. Megon 12 Jun 2007 at 11:09 am

    Hi Snoop

    I sincerely hope TrueLocal do “get there” because at the moment they’re giving local search a bad name.

    I’m not sure how you determine that “dLook will find it difficult to find the right way to sell listings”. We don’t have hundreds of pushy sales people, and find that the listings sell themselves. And our listings have a definite price point advantage while offering a much more diverse range of features.

    Sorry you can’t get behind the entrepreneurial ethos. But then I bet you work for a large corporation with a regular pay cheque…

  8. derekon 20 Jun 2007 at 3:51 pm

    I am to scared to give my details because i might get spammed. I was looking for my local weather forecast and got your site. You are nothing but an unaustralian leech blocking the Internet like the rest . Please go home and don’t bug the rest of us. You people are getting to be on a par with kiddy fiddlers. And due to a technical problem? Need i say more?

    This is what i tried to post to them. I was searching for my local weather for christ sake. But when i went to send it there was a technical problem. Hard to graph complaints if you cannot receive them. And this equally i think goes to google as well. They allow so many of these things to happen. Its policy.

  9. Megon 20 Jun 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Derek

    I’m assuming you got to TrueLocal.com.au via a Google Ad. This would take you to http://www.truelocal.com.au/search.do?term=weather+report

    I can see how this is frustrating. Not a weather report in sight!

  10. Abrahamon 20 Jul 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Geez. Talk about a bashing!

    Truelocal.com.au is becoming the online business directory of choice for most Australians. Since its inception in Feb 06 Truelocal has grown over 220% over the past 17 months. With this rapid growth, Truelocal has made some key partnerships. So by subscribing to truelocal your business will get exposure on yahoo local search, homesite.com.au, home renovations sections of realestate.com.au, classified sections of news.com.au (local business) and 3 Mobile (Planet 3)! Talk about exposure! And if you compare apples with apples, truelocals traffic statistics is far superior than dlook (how are you going to give your users or advertisers value if no one is coming back to the business directory! There is no other Business directory in the Australian Market that gives you this kind of exposure! It will give your business the maximum opportunity for people to find you and make enquiries! If you are a user truelocal can help you to find what your looking for with one click with 1.3 million businesses listed!The listings are based on relevance so if you look for a local business you will always get the most relevant results that is related to the search! If your an advertiser, a truelocal advertising solution can help you to get a great return on your advertising investment and certainly drive traffic to your website!

    Haven used it?

    Give it a go here on http://www.truelocal.com.au

    or give me a call(Abraham) on 02 8117 6119 for more info

  11. Megon 20 Jul 2007 at 5:37 pm


    Thank you for your comment. It’s nice to see you’re passionate about the business you work for. Have you been there long?

    The point that I was making is that, despite all the “exposure” (ie the advertising avenues available) TrueLocal really hasn’t taken the directory market by storm, has it? While you maintain you’ve grown over 220% – is that visitor numbers, number of listings or paid business listings?

    I’d love to check out your mobile search. Unfortunately I’m not with 3. dLook’s mobile search http://dLook.mobi can be accessed by any mobile phone with internet for free. And WE have no plans for charging for that service.

    Exposure doesn’t equate to success, especially if you have an inferior product. And please don’t quote the ol’ company slogan “The listings are based on relevance so if you look for a local business you will always get the most relevant results that is related to the search!” Let me just say, you don’t always get relevant results. And if you firmly believe that, then you haven’t spent much time on your own directory. Not to mention the money you are throwing away on irrelevant Google AdWords. Really – death notices, where do you find those on TrueLocal?

    “And if you compare apples with apples, truelocals traffic statistics is far superior than dlook (how are you going to give your users or advertisers value if no one is coming back to the business directory!”

    I agree that anybody can visit a website once, but it’s return traffic that counts – how are you so sure that you get people going back? How do you know that your traffic figures are superior? What about value for dollar for premium advertisers?

    http://alexa.com does compare apples with apples, and given your advertising budget, I’d have thought you’d be doing much better. Today Alexa ranks dLook as the 206th most popular site in Australia and TrueLocal as 230.

  12. Fat Bastardon 20 Jul 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Ok, I took the bait and checked out true local AGAIN.

    Same old same old. They couldn’t even pay a proper spin doctor to write a decent reply. C’mon guys if you’re going to give people a lousy search you might as well pay a pro to write something people might believe.

    Still, given the level of journalism at your parent company I’m sure Abraham is the best you can offer.

    The only smart person involved with true local is the guy who sold it to News Ltd. Rumour has it that the genius who told Rupert it was a good investment for News kinda got shown the back door. Nick somebody wasn’t it?

    Still I suppose poor old Yellow Pages and destitute dLook will somhow manage to deliver a decent directory to Australians despite true local’s best efforts to do otherwise.

  13. Megon 22 Jul 2007 at 10:53 am

    Attention “Phil”

    I’m happy to display legitimate comments from real people.

  14. Abrahamon 24 Jul 2007 at 9:29 am

    Hi Meg,

    Thanks for your reply. For the readers of these blogs I want to clarify the traffic statistics provided through Alexa which you commented above. Alexa ONLY measures traffic, if a user has Alexa toolbar downloaded on their PC (for more info see : http://www.alexa.com/site/help/traffic_learn_more ) The comment I made previously, that truelocals’ traffic statistics is far more superior than that of Dlook is very true. So the stats put forward by you doesnt really compare “apples with apples”.

    All the best with your business ventures moving forward Meg.

    Kind regards


  15. Megon 24 Jul 2007 at 10:22 am

    Hi Abraham

    Regarding Alexa, what makes you think that visitors to dLook would be more likely to have an Alexa toolbar? Both websites are in the same category therefore likely to have the same proportion of toolbar users – “apples with apples”. Not unless the tech savvy types are more likely to go to dLook because they perceive a superior search?

    I notice, you still haven’t quoted the source you are using for your statistics.

    Thanks for your good wishes, Abraham. I wish you well too, and hope your latest boss sticks around for a while.

  16. Fahdon 17 Aug 2007 at 9:39 am

    Hi Meg,

    The statistics are provided by nielson net ratings, the numbers are acutal unique browsers and they are still fast growing, the features we are currently working on will ensure sme’s business’ have there fair share in the marketplace. The exposure that we can offer spans over a number of websites such as yahoo local, google maps, homsite and the 3 mobile network wich currently is one of the largest local search features on a mobile to date. I do believe dlook offers great features however there are alot of platforms (foundations) wich our company is planting its feet upon. At least we have the common goal of succeeding yellow pages.

    Kind Regards,

    Fahd Mercy