A detailed look at Australian advertising flows has answered the question: did Google kill old media? The answer? Yes -- but not the one you think. No, not newspapers. It killed the old Yellow Pages -- that analogue resource that used to land with a thud on your front porch once a year, jam-packed with paid-for listings.
In pre-Google days, “Business Directories” like the Yellow Pages were one of the three big categories of advertising, along with display and classifieds. The least sexy of the trio -- the least Mad Men -- it turned over about $800 million in 2002; a large chunk into Telstra’s bottom line, or about 10% of the-then $8.9 billion Australian ad market.
The Yellow Pages. Every household had one. It even brought its own form of “Search Engine Optimisation”: Start your business name with an “A” (maybe “Aardvark” or better, “AAA”) and you were guaranteed to come up top of your preferred category!)