Verizon Scores Distribution Deal with AltaVista

Verizon’s Information Services division has chalked up another distribution deal for its SuperPages.com online directory, forging an agreement to be the exclusive provider of yellow pages and white pages listings for CMGI’s AltaVista search site.

The SuperPages.com listings will supplant those of WorldPages.com, which was recently acquired by TransWestern Publishing Company. WorldPages.com had been providing listings for AltaVista since September 2000.

The announcement follows the Dallas-based company’s deals to provide online directory services to InfoSpace and MSN. It already serves as the back-end to listings on Excite, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, BigFoot, the AOL Service, AOL.com, and Digital City.

“Our relationship with AltaVista is one more way to grow the number of visitors and page views for SuperPages.com,” said Patrick Marshall, group vice president of marketing for Verizon Information Services. “By increasing our usage and reach, we are increasing the potential value for SuperPages.com advertisers.”

Like other companies such as GoTo.com, SuperPages.com has focused on making distribution partnerships with the portals that already draw in sizeable numbers of visitors, rather than on driving traffic to its own branded site, saving marketing dollars in the process. Although terms of the AltaVista deal weren’t disclosed, presumably it would involve some type of revenue share on the advertising dollars generated from AltaVista site visitors.

SuperPages.com, which was formed when the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic resulted in the combination of Bell Atlantic’s BigYellow.com with the existing SuperPages.com site, has lately been making a big push, getting promotion through a sizeable advertising campaign that launched in early June.

Verizon Information Services has also been aggressively pursuing deals to get its listings more widely distributed, efforts which include expanding its offering to wireless devices on Palm.net and on a WAP site. With this latest alliance, SuperPages.com now provides Yellow Pages services to seven of the top 15 Internet sites, as ranked by Media Metrix in May 2001.

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