As a small business owner I went from spending tens of thousands of dollars on phone book and other print advertising to a 100% non paid internet marketing campaign. Business is still growing, and more money is coming home instead of being spent on marketing. I am not an expert at SEO, but I try to learn a little more every day. Phone book companies are struggling. I have seen he carpet cleaning section shrink year after year as more people rely on the internet to find service professionals. My dealings with phone books salesmen has led me to believe that things are getting really desperate. I am told by salesmen that the big names in the carpet cleaning industry are staying in the phone book, so if I want to be successful like them I should stay in too, when I bring up that the return on my investment is really bad in their book, they try to guarantee a certain number of phone calls. Now they know that more people are using the internet so their directories are online, but everyone I know uses Google, not an online phone directory. So the phone book companies are optimizing their web pages and even paying per click to get to the top of Google. Some companies fall for this trick thinking that the phone book company is on their side, trying to get them onto the top, but if you already have a web page, they are not helping you, they have become your competition!
You wouldn't give money to your competition, so why give it to the phone book companies who are now your direct competition when trying to place high in search results. They are using your money to outbid you on ad-words, and paying employees to optimize their site to rank higher then yours.
So I said goodbye to phone books, and hello to SEO.