Canceling Yext PowerListings

Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
114
Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone has ever purchased Yext PowerListings and then canceled (after a year, or earlier). If yes, I would be very interested to speak with them and feature their story on my blog.

Thanks!
Nyagoslav

P.S. I am not sure if this topic should be here, and if no - sorry Linda, please move it to the correct one.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,557
I've got some clients who use Yext, but I don't know that they're considering dropping it.

Great topic, Nyagoslav. Just tweeted this - to see if there's anyone who can opine. I'm really looking forward to what you find.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
114
Thanks, Phil! I hope more people will share their experience. It is a very, very important aspect of the service, and I'm hearing one thing from "around the web" and completely the opposite from Yext (which is not really surprising, to be honest), so I just want to find and present a very clear case study.
 

katandmouse

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
114
Hi Nyagoslav, As you know I'm following your post. I just retracted what I said in my comment after doing some more research on Yext. I also left a comment about how you might be able to leave Yext without any consequences, and followed up with my own blog post about Yext which includes that idea. That blog post was really inspired by remorse over my likening Yext's cancellation policy to extortion. My passion over helping these little guys sometimes gets the better of me. And while that comment was meant to be an hyperbole, I am afraid it would be taken literally. Maybe I need to go back and add that.

Anyway, please read my idea for a Yext exit strategy. This idea came to me after remembering long discussions I had with UBL over their citation control. They do the same thing. They didn't tell me anyone could claim their listings and all would be fine if they left. That is my assumption because they told me that if anyone came to their system with citations already claimed, they could not be updated from within UBL. It only makes sense that if they claim them before they cancel, it might lock in those changes. Depends on how those directories update those listings however. It could be they are dynamically generated as they gather data, or it could be they write it to their own databases and then update periodically as they tap into UBL or Yext. We'll know if someone can do the experiment of claiming those before they quit. Am I making sense?

I should add that Howard also commented on Mike Blumenthal's blog on the same topic and said they left "core data" intact. The question is what is core data? I believe that would be the NAP, or the bare minimum that those directories use to set up a profile.

Kathy
 
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Jul 19, 2012
Messages
114
Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your answer and for following up on the topic. I understand and I know about the workaround you mentioned, because I have previously written that listings that Yext creates are NOT owner-verified (check here, specifically point 4). The problem here is - if after you have paid Yext to fix your listings so that you could skip all the hassle of creating, claiming, fixing them, then why should you look for a workaround after they "release their control"? Additionally, I am also unsure what "core data" means. I assume Howard is talking about the NAP (+ category, probably). However, he gave different explanation in Mike's blog post's comments. He said that they "grant our partners a world-wide non-exclusive liscence to any listing data we supply to them" (see here). The question stays - after they release their control, will the directories keep showing the information, or they will take it down and/or revert it back to what it was? I have never seen a straight-forward answer to this question and obviously, it depends on the particular business directory. So the only way to prove a point here would be if there is a real case where someone canceled and they saw their listings stay/get tanked.
 

katandmouse

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
114
Phil, I would love to know if your clients use it, how they use it and how often. My clients never or hardly ever update directory listings but when they need to, as in a move, it of course is a pain and Yext would be awesome. But does it justify the cost?

I can't see how their PowerListings are worth the cost either unless, again, you make periodic changes to your promotion. Most of my clients don't. They usually do a "first time customer discount" and never change it. So I just don't know if it's worth the extra cost. However, if they had a simple platform to make those changes, maybe they would!

What have you found with your clients? Are they using it to the full and have they gotten good results because of it?
 

katandmouse

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
114
Hi Nyagoslav, I'm not sure I understand your question:
"The problem here is - if after you have paid Yext to fix your listings so that you could skip all the hassle of creating, claiming, fixing them, then why should you look for a workaround after they "release their control"?"

After you have Yext fix, create and claim them and then you cancel, if there was a workaround to prevent you having to do that all over again, we'd love that, right? And claiming them before canceling might do it. That's the workaround I'm hoping for. Is that what you are questioning? I'm a little confused. sorry.

If you're wondering why it matters, it's because I see clients all the time get locked into something, then want to leave but are too afraid to leave for fear of what would happen. I want them to know what will happen, number one, and if the consequence is something we don't like, I want them to know if it's devastating, reparable, and how easy or not it is to fix.

But to address this question of yours: "
The question stays - after they release their control, will the directories keep showing the information, or they will take it down and/or revert it back to what it was?"

I did get an answer to that from UBL and it might shed some light on Yext. I quizzed UBL at length on the phone about this because I did not want any business I put in their system to lose their listings and have to start all over again if they quit. This is what they told me and it's on their website too:

"
If you do not renew after the notices we send, your record will be removed from the active file that we provide to directories. Different sites and distribution partners will treat deactivated UBL listings in different ways, according to their policies. Some may keep the listings active and some may delete them. This is beyond our control."
https://www.ubl.org/faq.aspx

On the phone they elaborated a bit more and said that "some directories might not think the businesses are still in business if they disappear from UBL and for that reason might remove them."

That seemed more or a scare tactic to me because I didn't for a minute believe a directory would remove a business for that reason if the reason they give is true.

They also said that if I were to claim a listing I would not be able to update that listing from UBL so advised against it.

But the point is, at least with UBL and I would assume it would be true with Yext as well, that directories do not remove listings because your subscription with them ceases, and Howard confirms that when he says the core data will stay intact. So that part we know. How much remains is the question. UBL wasn't forthcoming with that either as they wanted me to believe they would disappear entirely. But they were also the ones who told me that claiming a listing would break the pipe because it locks them down. Hence my reason in thinking that claiming them might keep all the data in.

As for Howard's comment, (I'm glad you printed that here, thank you): "grant our partners a world-wide non-exclusive license to any listing data we supply to them"

Maybe if we read between the lines here, we can figure it out. What this says to me is that whatever data is entered into their system, they are making the claim it's theirs (as indicated by the fact that they "grant a license" to use it). Does this also mean they have an agreement with those directories that says since it's theirs they can take it away? If so, then maybe claiming those listings isn't going to do any good because maybe Yelp and others had to agree to not really write the data to their own database.

We can make guesses all day about how we think their algorithms were written, but the only way to know for sure is to get some feedback from someone who quit.

I'm wondering though if their small print when you sign up sheds some light on this. Phil, if you're reading this, can you look at your client's contract or is that long gone?

Sorry that's so long. They don't call me Chatty Kathy for nothing.

Kathy
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
114
Thanks for the detailed follow-up, Kathy!

I might have not been very clear in my previous comment. Regarding the workaround option, I believe it is great that such might potentially exist, but the main issue in question stays - why should we, in the end of the day, pay $500, and then look for workaround options? I mean, if you pay $500 isn't what you would like to get in exchange just sorted out listings and NOT having to worry about the issue anymore? Isn't that what most people state is the greatest advantage of Yext - saving time and hassle. Then if you, before canceling with them, have to go and claim the listings (if at all possible, because what I am hearing from Yext is that the listings should be protected, i.e. unclaimable), then this advantage is lost, isn't it?

As it appears (both from what you've heard from UBL, and from what I heard from Yext) it really is up to the particular business directory if they will keep the data or not. And then, in the end of the day, it all boils down to having an actual case which could show us which websites do actually keep and use the data.

Thanks again for all your input. I greatly appreciate it!
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
6
Kathy,

From my understand once an agreement with yext is cancelled, all listings will revert to how they originally appeared. It is a fair service, for a company that is looking for a quick fix or needs listings changed immediately. It seems like a lot of these companies prefer to do business in the shadows...sounds like you could use some transparency.:)
 
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Dave

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
254
Great topic and clear thinking, Nyagoslav.

If I rely on Yext this year to spread my citations then next year don't renew and they TANK the citations....what a waste of money. 12 months from now the effect of that effort would go down the drain.

Lots of businesses don't have revolving every day offers...and frankly even if I did...I wouldn't need the myriads of directories to change them every week. They have never demonstrated the distribution into the user eyeball market that the SE's have shown.

So many different recipients of the citations. How do they operate? What are their relationships with yext? Touchy important issues.

Good question.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,557
@Dave

You nailed it. My advice to my clients (and others) who use Yext always is: it's a good tool to use before / in addition to manual citation-building, but never instead of it.
 

katandmouse

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
114
Thank you Nyagoslav. I totally agree! I'll probably get tougher and change my blog post to reflect that. :)

For professionals, I can see the importance of making citation building a separate line item on a Local SEO proposal. Otherwise, an uninformed business owner might think "Local SEO" is the same as Yext and opt for the later because it's cheaper.

Kathy
 

russofford

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
129
I would like to do a more in-depth case study comparing the cancellation of multiple Yext services.

Please let me know if your Yext contract is expiring soon. I'd love to compare before and after cancellation, such as what Nyagoslav did.

My comment on Blumenthal's post provides some more insight and analysis on Nyagoslav's original case study.

I also noticed by re-examining Nyagoslav's case study data (by opening each listing URL) that several IYP venues actually redacted the listing in some way. Besides a confirming that 12-13 venues definitely deleted the customers listing completely and 4 venues reverting to 'old' data (perhaps because major aggregators still had old data in their systems(?)... I found that 5 venues actually removed the website URL and one of those same venues removed the phone number from the listing.

Russ
 

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