Clean Up Yahoo Local Mess


tc2

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A local company contacted me trying to figure out a way to clean the mess on Yahoo local search.

The company has 3 offices in Arizona. The yahoo local search results shows mixed wrong phone number area code, wrong website, wrong name and duplicated listing.

The company already has verified Yelp, Google, Bing, Yp and few other business directory listings. However, the verified Yelp listing shows the wrong name on Yahoo Local for some reasons.

Is it better to pay Yext to remove some of the wrong listing or use Yahoo's localworks?

What the company are afraid of is that Yext will create a new entry on many directories that will cause duplication.

The company would like to remove those and only shows the correct one. What's the easiest way to do so?

I searched this forum and haven't found a good solution.

Thanks!
 

DanLeibson

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I would pay Yext, and I am not a fan of focusing much budget and/or resources on non-Google citations.

A couple of caveats, Yext is a client of ours and I think citation consistency is overhyped and have a big study about it coming out soon :)
 

tc2

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Here is what I found so far.

The company used to pay DexKnows. The company has since changed name.

The old data were distributed through Localeze and published on many directories.

Now, the company stop paying DexKnows, since it is NOT generating promised leads. The old data are still existing on may directories that we don't have access to. The bigger issues is there are duplicated listing (new name, old name) all over the place.

Talked to Yelp sales rep, they have no clue why Yahoo Local load Yelp data with different company name. Looks like a third party company screw up the name and phone number area code.

I am debating if I should go with BrightLocal. I was told by one of their sales reps today saying they also have issues dealing with Yahoo Local. They can't create and edit the record, once it's on Yahoo Local.

Ouch!
 

Myles Bergh

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I agree with Joy. I would be more concerned with the source of the bad listing data. I would start by looking for all of the listings you are aware of (good and bad) in Localeze, Infogroup, Factual and Acxiom. If you find bad listings there, you can be certain they are being populated in a lot of places.
 
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Dan, I'm not understanding your reply. Why would you pay Yext... and then say that non-Google citations aren't that important?

tc2 - Yahoo Localworks IS Yext. I wouldn't bother with either. Myles is right - focus on the big four first and make sure everything is clean there. Moz Local does a good job of that if you don't want to do it by hand.

We've had horrible experience with Yahoo. We are surmising that it's the next thing to be shut down, because it's clear there is nobody mining that store.

We've been evaluating citation sites for most of this year and writing up our experiences. If you are interested - Citation
 

DanLeibson

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Dan, I'm not understanding your reply. Why would you pay Yext... and then say that non-Google citations aren't that important?
I'm not sure I follow. I both think that non-Google citations aren't nearly as important as a lot of people make them out to be and also don't completely ignore them. Like with most things the answer is somewhere in the middle. Yext is relatively cheap, quite effective and takes little time so we can focus on more beneficial local SEO things.
 
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Dan,

You're the first person I've ever heard describe Yext as cheap ;-)

We generally break down Citations as follows:

(1) Google My Business - this is a MUST do, first thing
(2) Big 4 - Acxiom/Localeze/Infogroup/Factual - we recommend Moz Local for this. This also covers many of the "larger" directories like yp, superpages, yelp, 4SQ.
(3) Vertical / Focused Citations - since this varies per industry and there usually aren't that many, we usually recommend doing these by hand
(4) Everybody else - if the rest of the citations out there matter to the business, you can use a service like Yext, UBL, etc.

So - given our view on things, Yext is lower in the priority scale. They generally cannot do #2 and #3 anyway (at least no better than Moz which is significantly lower in price). Given your comment that Google is really the most important thing and the rest isn't nearly as critical, that's how I came up with my confusion about Yext.

I do agree completely that exhaustive citation work is not worth it - just Google and the major citations sites is usually sufficient. 80/20 rule.
 
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"Relatively cheap" as in the opportunity cost of paying for Yext to automatically take care of the headache & correct the data vs you spending valuable time on an activity that will yield minimal gains. You're better off working on a project that will bring in more revenue than spending time on something that can be overwritten and corrected for $20/mo or less.

In the grand scheme of things Yext is a less expensive way to correct some of these headaches, but most people are sticker-shocked by the lump-one-time pricing model they have. No different than paying for hosting with Bluehost or Hostgator. They charge your card once, but you have the product for 3 years. Mathematically it works out to ~$4 per month, but you don't have the luxury of monthly billing.
 

joedillon68

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Dan,

(2) Big 4 - Acxiom/Localeze/Infogroup/Factual - we recommend Moz Local for this. This also covers many of the "larger" directories like yp, superpages, yelp, 4SQ.
.
Hi All: As a SBO, I thought Moz Local was the answer to my prayers and I have some sad news to report - it is not. I have been working with Moz for the better part of 6 months now and the results are less than optimal. If you look at the Moz dashboard you feel like a rock-star. 88% accuracy! 92% accuracy!

But...

if you actually go out into the real world and see how you're listed on Infogroup or do a search on yellowpages, you will be shocked and saddened. I have 6 local listings (3 in NJ and 3 in Illinois) and here are the results of my "local lookup" based on the sites I was directed to by Moz tech support (who are quite nice and helpful by the way so shout out to them)


  1. Infogroup - 1 of 6 incorrect (Montclair, NJ) but I had used ExpressUpdate way back when before Moz Local was a thing so I suspect the listings are correct because I entered them.
  2. Acxiom - 2 of 6 incorrect (Montclair, NJ and Naperville, IL ? actually shows both the new and old address in Lisle, IL for this listing)
  3. Nuestar/Localeze - 4 of 6 incorrect (Bridgewater, Montclair, Montclair and Naperville all show both the current as well as old address)
  4. Factual ? no way for me as an end user to search this.
  5. Foursquare ? all correct as I added them
  6. Superpages - (1st Tier) ? 3 of 6 incorrect (Morristown, Montclair and Naperville all showing old address)
  7. Best of the Web - (2nd Tier) ? No way to search this.
  8. Citysearch ? 4 of 6 incorrect (Bridgewater not listed at all, Montclair shows old address, Chicago 200 S Wacker appears twice and Naperville shows both old address in Lisle and new one in Naperville)
  9. CityGrid ? 2 of 6 incorrect (Montclair shows old address and Naperville shows both old address in Lisle and new one in Naperville)
  10. Bing ? all correct as I entered them.

When you think about it, that's a 33% error rate (16 out of 48 listings I could search). And add to the fact that FourSquare and Bing were entered manually by me so if you remove those, it's closer to a 50% error rate.

It's looking more and more like manual is the only way to go as Yext is unaffordable for me and Moz just isn't cutting it.

I've had my data pushed out to the aggregators once again and was told to give it a week or two to see if anything updated but that's not giving me hope.

My favorite quote from Moz tech support:

"Though we really do love our partners unfortunately, we are beholden to their databases to accept all of the information, so if they choose not to accept the information it can be really problematic."

Yes sir, it can...

I am open to suggestions, after I stop crying on my keyboard...
Joe

---------- Post Merged at 10:51 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:49 AM ----------

I have found a place to submit your issue to here:

https://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/298488

Not sure of it's efficacy but it's worth a shot. Maybe? :confused:
 

mlee390

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Good thread with no real solutions for Yahoo local mess. Here's my experience, used Yahoo local to clean up citations knowing they use Yext and they are cheaper at only $30/mo and only require 3 month commitment. I actually stayed with them 6 months as forgot to cancel before it renewed for another quarter.

So just happened to stumble across one of my business citations today and discovered it has the wrong business name....and that citation was Yahoo local, Lol. Did a quick scan of all my citations and there are a bunch with wrong business name or others that reverted to wrong website and others completely gone.

And the kicker is you can't manually go in and correct a few of them like Citysearch.

[Removed see below]
 
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Eric,

Yext for $4/mo? You'll have to show me where that deal exists. My understanding is Yext is $450/yr (and usually you can get it reduced to $250) - that's still $20/mo. And you have to pay up front, so if you think it's not working, you're still committed for the year.

---------- Post Merged at 01:47 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:43 PM ----------

Thanks for the info Joe and sorry to hear you're having such issues with Moz Local. That hasn't been my personal experience, but I will dig a bit deeper on the citations we've done to make sure. Stay tuned.

Also - it's important to note that the Big 4 get submissions from so many places, and much of it is conflicting. So they have to decide what is truly authoritative and then they distribute that to all their partners. This process can take 2-3 months. It's an astoundingly bad process for something this important, but we can't blame Moz (or Yext, or any of the others) for the lengthy time it takes for citations to circulate.

Also - FYI - you can check Factual listings here - https://factual.com/data/t/places
 

Jeff Slater

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[1st sentence removed, see below]

It is worth noting in this thread that Yahoo Local is currently bogged down in a sketchy proposal to rebrand as Luminate by Aabaco Small Business. Yahoo wants to spin off its 15% stake in Chinese-owned Alibaba into a new company to save about $9 billion in taxes. Yahoo Local is set to serve as the mule for this transaction.

Since Yahoo was already a bogus excuse for a local business platform, I have stopped working on Yahoo until more is known about what, if anything, will happen with this new service. I fear that any work being done now is at a high risk for being rejected, lost, incorrectly transferred, etc.

Yahoo has already been dropping the ball in many ways, including:
- leaving newly verified listings in "Pending Revew" purgatory for as long as 6 mos
- rejecting their own verification PINs
- Confusion and glitches between their two Local Dashboards
- server errors in the newer dashboard (V2) making listings inaccessible
- charging customers $299 for service renewals even though Yahoo already announced the service was ending and rebranding as Luminate

When it comes to Local, I don't trust Yahoo to do anything right at this time. I would leave any Yahoo mess alone until further notice.
 
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Yahoo may be dropping the ball on a lot of things local, but that's not necessarily an excuse to ignore it. Most customers will still see Yahoo when they search their business, or have it presented as a major source from other agencies. That being the case, the visibility value alone is worth correcting the data. If the info is wrong in one place then it's bound to be wrong on others, which could lead to missed leads/conversions.

Yahoo doesn't offer support for the free product (which is also being discontinued), so the other alternatives I see is to pay for a service to help clean the data or attempt to fix it upstream then wait months for it to update on Yahoo. .
 
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Everyone,

This thread is a classic story of just how hard all of our jobs are in the local data space. All of the classic novel elements are in our story. We have the opening scene where our protagonist, the SMB, and their ever present digital marketing expert companion (Samwise Gamgee), discover they must solve a problem with their data. What starts out as a simple journey to Yahoo soon explodes into a expansive mission and journey into the local data ecosystem far deeper in mystery than could be believed. There is the murder of perfectly good information, the intrigue of suddenly missing data elements, the passion of the marketer to find the best solution, and the despair and loss of business for the protagonist SMB.

Unfortunately, this story has many characters and not always a great outcome. I just want to clarify a couple points that always seem to come up in this oft repeated storyline.

First, aggregators will never let you control their data. So by submitting to them, you are doing what appears to be a good thing (and I'm not in any way against it) but many here and in other forums appear to be angry at or, at the least, frustrated that the data you provided is then changed downstream or at the aggregator. To be fair to the aggregator, they aren't in the business of getting "your data" right. They make money selling lists of people and lists of businesses, and this is just part of that process. So whether you use Moz, or go direct, you can be certain of just one thing... you don't control the data, and you never will this way. The data will change, and unless you are going to check everyday from now until eternity and catch every error they compile (which you can't by the way), only one thing is for sure... you will be disappointed.

As many here know, I was formerly the Chief Data Officer for one of these firms, and I am not saying anything against them. In fact, I'm honored to still work with them because I know just how hard compiling millions of data points into these databases really is. These aggregators weren't designed to keep the bad data out or to ensure its accuracy from your point of view, but from their systems and process point of view. These two points of view won't always agree, so let's give them a break on this. They were designed, just like Moz Local and anyone who uses a "data submission" designed process, to submit data and hope that it eventually shows up. Further, the aggregators are shipping this data in chunks to publishers and sites and search engines that then mix the data with other sources in their own compilation process, often changing the data once again!

I just hate to see people get angry at the screen door for letting the cold air in. They weren't designed for that and the process of controlling data down the line is a completely different model.

Yext was built to control data. It was built to specifically come at this problem from the point of view of the business owner who (technically) should be the most authoritative source and the source with the most to lose if this data is wrong. Acting directly or through a trusted professional marketer has always been our data model to ensure as much control as possible.

And on the subject of data reverting, we've covered this here on the forum several times as to what happens when you cancel Yext, and it is really vital to understand how each publisher or site treats this differently. Moz and others that use aggregator solutions have similar claims in their FAQs that state data may revert or, in Moz's case, is definitely going to revert at two of their aggregators. This isn't a Yext issue or a Moz issue, its structurally designed that when sources of data cease to be the source anymore, they can no longer be relied upon for conflation and compilation purposes, and they are often removed from the process or age out over time.

Again, I know its frustrating, but maybe another analogy here is appropriate. Submitting to data aggregators as a solution is a lot like riding in a NYC taxi. Sure, you tell them where to go, and you hope you get there, but fundamentally, you are in the back seat and you are definitely not in control. Sometimes you have a good ride, sometimes you don't. Many times, you meander and sit there thinking, "I would have turned there" and saved yourself a lot of time and aggravation.

Yext on the other hand is owning or leasing the car and controlling exactly every turn it makes. You drive, you control, and everyone who's seen our software knows, if you make a change... it happens. However, you have to buy the car or lease the car, and you have to make the payments or you don't get to stay in control.

I'm not trying to make a claim to the value of each model, as every professional and business owner can make that call for themselves as to when you should drive the car yourself and when you should take a cab (or better, Uber). But while both are methods and modes of transportation, the value proposition (and prices) are going to be different based on your needs and objectives, and the objectives of your customers.

Thanks! and as always, if I can be of any help you are welcome to contact me directly:
@wardchristianj
christian@yext dot com
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much for weighing in Christian.

Love the screen door and taxi analogies. They really help the message sink in.

People so often do not understand how the whole back end data piece works, so I hope this helps clarify.
 

Linda Buquet

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Apologies to all. I should have jumped into and read this thread sooner. I read almost every thread that's posted, but since it was about Yahoo, I didn't really tune in.

Wanted to let you guys know I edited a couple posts in this thread.

Comments that are overly attacking and cross the line into libel are removed.

You can't go around making serious allegations about companies that are untrue.
You can state your opinion, but certain words that are very damaging to a company OR are not proven to be true will not be tolerated.

We have a policy here of not attacking companies or making false allegations.

I work 70 hours a week FOR FREE supporting you guys. I cannot afford a lawsuit and I don't think you guys want one either.

I considered just deleting this whole thread due to so many inflammatory comments. But you guys invested time in writing your posts AND much of this is really good information.

So I decided to leave it up, but please watch tone and keep comments factual and appropriate.
 

tc2

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Linda:

Sorry. I did not expect my first ever post here will cause any trouble. I do appreciate all the reply.

The last option for my client is taking legal route to have the attorney to contact Yahoo to correct or remove the information. From what I understand, once your business information is listed on Yahoo Local, it stays on Yahoo's database.

Thank you all for the information.

This got me thinking how Yext, whitespark, Moz Local and BrightLocal started at the first place?

Don't we all want a working system to solve this problem? Maybe it's time for all of us to come up an alternative solutions. Obviously, there is market need and we should fulfill the demand. I know it's complicate, but there is piece of the pie for all of us. Isn't it?

Anyone interested in starting a new joint venture?
 
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Eric,

Don't mean to quibble, but the $199 package (Yext's cheapest) only covers 28% of their citations and frankly none of them are authoritative. Even the tier that covers 100% of citations has no mention of Acxiom, Localeze, Factual or Infogroup. As those are the most important citations of all, it's hard for me to agree that at any price, Yext is a "value". Anybody using Yext would (in my opinion, anyway) still need to find a way to update those 4.

I really struggle with Yext because there are some very knowledgeable people in this forum who find Yext valuable. But I'm not seeing it. And, if most of the folks here are starting to say that exhaustive citation efforts beyond the top ones is not worth it, then I *really* don't see the value of Yext.
 

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