Best Practices For Transitioning Client Away From Yext

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Lloyd Silver

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Linda, thanks for bringing Christian into the conversation. We had a great phone call today and he walked me through the entire Yext platform and there's certainly a lot of value there, and a lot they are doing beyond just citations. Even if using Whitespark, Bright Local, manual citations, etc. I can see value in what Yext brings to the table.

It's clear that there's no "one size fits all" approach to citations. And that there are good reasons to use several different services depending upon the client.

For anybody who only thought about Yext as a citation building company, I would suggest exploring it a little deeper.

And thank you Christian for all of your time!
 

Linda Buquet

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Awesome, thanks for the feedback Lloyd. So glad you were able to connect with Christian. He's a wealth of info!

Plus I agree and feel like a lot of consultants don't really understand the big picture with Yext. I'm glad you got a glimpse of that.

Maybe I'll see if Christian wants to do a webinar or has any good videos to share. Every time I talk to him I'm just amazed by what he knows!
 

Eric Rohrback

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It took me months, but I actually got HubShout to use Yext for local client citations. I think there's a lot of value to the product from both a agency/professionals side and for clients. I especially like the reporting and API integration. The review tracking is a cool feature, so you can be on top of that for clients and make sure you both know where your customers are visiting and leaving reviews.

I used to be very against yext, but then I started reading more articles Andrew Shotland was putting out and really looking at my team's workflow limitations. I believe Whitespark and BrightLocal outsource their citation building so those are two of the more affordable options when it comes to citation building (almost went with them). Not sure what kind of reporting they have, and yext has some good reporting so that was the main tipping point for us to use them; clients like to see what their money is doing for them.
 

Linda Buquet

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If Yext can identify duplicate listings why won't they give you the option to have them be deleted. Does the fact that these error-filled listings get restored upon cancelling Yext's service strike anyone as a little bit 'extortioney?'

I find it a bit hard to understand why anyone would endorse Yext.
They must compensate their affiliates very well.
Hi Andrew,

I don't pretend to understand this as well as Christian from Yext does, and I'll see if he wants to weigh in.

And FYI I we don't allow any affiliate links here, so no one in this thread is trying to promote them for any kind of self serving reasons. Just sharing honest opinions and trying to clear up confusion.

But here is my limited understanding...

Yext can't delete the dupes because they they don't live on Yext, they live on the various publisher sites. I believe Yext is able to temporarily suppress that data that lives on the publisher sites. But ultimately the data belongs to each publisher.

So once you cancel Yext, the suppression service you are no longer paying for stops, as does any service when you end it. So then the data reverts to whatever it was previously in accordance with each publisher's policies.

Andrew Shotland wrote about it and explains it better than I did:

<a href="http://www.localseoguide.com/yext-duplicate-listings-suppression-launches/">Yext Duplicate Listings Suppression Launches (aka Powerlistings ?ber) - Local SEO Guide</a>

But I think it's fascinating and you all know how much I hate dupes. So I'm researching this a little more and doing an in-depth post about it next week.
 
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Andrew,

I definitely understand where you're coming from. I had the same question about a listing reverting back when the services were cancelled before they ever announced the duplicate suppression. I haven't used Yext's services yet but their duplicate suppression service was a step in the right direction.

I definitely don't think there is any compensation for affiliates. I feel that the decision on whether or not to go with Yext depends on your Agencies bandwidth and/or the degree of the issues a business is having with their Local listings.

I do know, after recently speaking with a Rep, that they are very transparent on how their services work before you ever sign up and if/when you decide to cancel.

There will be pros and cons of any service you use and I'm sure a lot of us can attest to the pros and cons if you choose to handle Local SEO manually.
 

Lloyd Silver

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I've come full circle on Yext since I created this thread.

It is much more than just a citation tool and it makes perfect sense for a subset of my clients. At the same time, other services like Whitespark also make perfect sense. And guess what, typically using both services provides the best outcome. But it certainly depends upon what you're looking for and your client needs. But there is a marketing component to Yext beyond citations, so keep that in mind.

The reason why Yext does not delete duplicate listings is likely two-fold. First, those listings do not belong to Yext. They belong to the individual sites. Yext can express their opinion but it's up to the sites to determine what to do. But the bigger reason is that by deleting a duplicate, you are actually creating a scenario where the duplicate will re-appear at some point in the future.

Remember that duplicates are not just created because someone manually added a business. They are also created because the site has gathered data from any number of sources and it (erroneously) created a new listing. So if the listing is deleted, the next time that data is scraped you might find a new listing in its place.

So instead the duplicates are suppressed. They aren't deleted, but they will no longer show up in results. Also, just in case there were any links to the incorrect listing, a deleted listing would result in a 404 error. A suppressed listing has options like redirecting it to the proper listing.

Could Yext develop a way to permanently suppress these listings even if you cancel their service?

I don't think so because the listings aren't their's. The site could certainly change its algorithm so that if a duplicate is suppressed via Yext for more than x months than it is permanently suppressed. But that's up to the site.

You can certainly contact each of these sites individually and request that the duplicates be removed. I've done that. It's a huge pain. And it's why there are services out there that will remove duplicates for a pretty lofty fee.

I was one of those under the impression that Yext reversed everything when services are cancelled. But I've since learned that this isn't true.

The sites determine what to display based upon a myriad of factors. If a listing has been locked by Yext, that will take precedence over other sources that the site gets its data from. But when that lock is removed, the site no longer can rely on Yext for data pertaining to the listing, and it must once again look at all of the data out there and figure out what's best to display (again, I think this is another part of the value of Yext to have more control over what is actually part of data records). My assumption is that if a business has Yext for a decent period of time, that whatever data is included in the listings driven by Yext will likely propagate enough to have permanent influence even after Yext is cancelled. But again, that's up to the site.

In sum, Yext isn't evil. It's a great tool in the right situation. And fortunately we have other alternatives available in situations where Yext doesn't make sense or (as often is the case for me) when it makes sense to use multiple services.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Nice explanation Lloyd. I was going to jump in and comment, but you hit all the points that I researched. Good stuff!
 
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Linda, thanks for highlighting some of the issues with deletion of duplicates. You are spot on for many of the major issues.

Andrew, I think you bring up an excellent overall question about duplicate suppression vs. deletion, and it is worthy of a full write up. I plan on doing that in the next day and will likely post the entire explanation tomorrow. However, Lloyd has really hit the core of it spot on with his explanation.

The duplicate problem is all about trying to prevent errant data from polluting the ecosystem, and while deletion sounds like a solution, it ends up causing more problems. Again, Lloyd really highlights a couple of the major reasons, and I will try to add some other factors in the additional post tomorrow for everyone to consider. In particular, I'll cover how the data architecture of most publishers would have to be adjusted to handle duplicates, and further we will talk a bit about "matching science" as the whole process by which duplicates pop up is an amazingly complex comedy of errors where deletion plays a lead role.

In addition to the post, I am happy to also connect for a conversation, Andrew, so I can explain any of the details you would like to know about how Yext works. I offer this to all members of the Local Search Forum, as I am afraid that sometimes even the most detailed post can lead to more questions worthy of a dialogue. Feel free to email me at christian@yext.com, and I will work on getting that post up as quickly as possible tomorrow.

Thanks, everyone!
 

Linda Buquet

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The duplicate problem is all about trying to prevent errant data from polluting the ecosystem, and while deletion sounds like a solution, it ends up causing more problems. Again, Lloyd really highlights a couple of the major reasons, and I will try to add some other factors in the additional post tomorrow for everyone to consider. In particular, I'll cover how the data architecture of most publishers would have to be adjusted to handle duplicates, and further we will talk a bit about "matching science" as the whole process by which duplicates pop up is an amazingly complex comedy of errors where deletion plays a lead role.
Yesterday in the post above Christian said he would need to do a new post to try to explain the complexities involved in deleting listings as opposed to suppressing them.

He just did the new post and I can see why he needed whole new thread to explain it.
It's pretty involved. Here it is:

<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/yext-forum/22690-duplicate-suppression-vs-deletion.html">Duplicate Suppression vs. Deletion</a>

With that, I'll close this thread as all the questions around transitioning clients have been addressed I think.

Links to more info about how it all works have been posted and Christian has even shared his email and encouraged anyone with problems to reach out to him personally. He's already given one-on-one support to several of our members in this thread too. So if you have any issues feel free to reach out to him to directly.
 
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