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What are the most important local listing services that feed Google My Business?

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# 1
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I am going to be officially renaming my business shortly. In addition to filing the new DBA with the Secretary of State (CO) and updating Google My Business I will need to get all the local listing services updated so that NAP is synchronized.  This may take going to some of the services individually and/or going through the aggregators/management services to reel them in. Yes I understand that it may take 2-3 months for the data to get updated and pushed upstream such that Google My Business will grasp it.

 

I have been doing lots of research trying to sort out the players, both individuals and managers/aggregators. If it helps, I can post the information I've gathered here if not against the rules. I've read that there are 200+ listing services.  Although some of the managers/aggregators claim to update 50+ (whatever) I can't imagine that there are more than 20-30 which are genuinely vital. Some are probably incidental or so niche-specific that they are essentially irrelevant.

 

If not against the forum rules, can some list the most critical local listing services and/or aggregators that they would go after? 

 

I can provide a starting point list if it helps.

 

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Re: What are the most important local listing services that feed Google My Business?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Bob M

 

Not sure what country you are in. 

 

I can't find the article at the moment but Darren Shaw at Whitespark did a presentation / study on all the major players. Needless to say all the automated aggregators were terrible and even after 6 months on a tiny fraction had been found and indexed by google bot.

 

No surprise that manual was the best way forward

 

If you are in the UK, there are only around 50 main ones and then of course you need to search for local and niche ones after that.

 

http://www.slideshare.net/darrenshaw1/moz-local-2016-darren-shaw-citation-investigation

http://onlineownership.com/uk-business-directory-citations/

 

 



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: What are the most important local listing services that feed Google My Business?

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Thanks Tim. I looked at the links.

Question) Am I breaking forum rules by mentioning names of aggregators or managing services or local services by name?

Me = USA/CO. This stuff is massively convoluted and confusing, an ecosystem gone bad. I spent days trying to sort it out and make up a plan to get the most critical updated and hopefully others to follow suit.

Options:

1) manual update method - by looking through various lists I came up 25 or so fairly common (you said 50), some almost household names, and lessers (maybe niche-specific)
2) managing services (I call them) - there are several services that want you to subscribe for a fee, some costly recurring yearly or they purportedly let the listings revert if you don't renew), some that feed a combination of aggregators and listing services
3) aggregators - half a dozen, and some of these seem to fall under the umbrella of some of #2, managing services

*) What also seems to confuse the picture is that several of the aggregators seem to update the same listing services. So you more/less make a choice or you end up with some overlap.

*) Say that you are apprehensive that these aggregators will complete their mission (or in a timely manner) so you decide to simultaneously manually go after the hot local listing services yourself (undoubtedly I will do this).

Q) Once the aggregator or managing service comes through will it overwrite the manual work that you did in the past and future? i.e. Who's the boss?

Q) Why would it matter? A) With some local service you have some flexibility to add some pictures and a business description and that could potentially get lost.

Business categories - there is quite some difference in business categories and especially implementation of SIC codes and some services don't seem to support the correct SIC code list. My business is incorrectly SIC-coded as "Data Processing ..." with a batch of local listings. I don't know how important the SIC code is, but it sure looks stupid.

Q) How important are consistent SIC codes? And categories?

Re: What are the most important local listing services that feed Google My Business?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
My first question would be what is the geographic extent of your market ? Are you a national international for a local business what sort of radius around your physical location would you consider to be your primary service area ? I ask you this because the answer will probably change the answer that I give you in regards to your questions about the best business directories to be listed on . Another thing that may modify my answer is asking you was sort of business you're in for some businesses such as construction real estate medicine Dentistry etc. there are specific niche directory which tend to show up well in search results in those verticals .

Also are you concerned about price assuming that you are a small business in a have a budget I will just give you the top services that you could use it will get you the most local visibility assuming that you are more or less a general retail sort of business .

There is google my business of course which has many advantages in Google search results next there is Bing places for business which is very much like Google my business except on Bing I would've said yahoo business however Yahoo has recently essentially sold their directory and as far as I can tell the free listing days on that service are over . A new player in the market is Apple Maps which lets your business up here on of course Apple Maps on iPhone iPod and associated Apple devices . Finally there is express update which is the last of the big data aggregators to offer a free listing that you can still do yourself . At least to the best of my knowledge . Express update is great because it distributes your listing information to other business directories in GPS systems .

Re: What are the most important local listing services that feed Google My Business?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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I renamed my business last Thursday, then spent the evening and time over the next couple days doing manual updates. Some of the services including Google My Business (GMB) and my Facebook business page are pretty spontaneous. Others will take some time. I have been monitoring positioning in GMB and it has not budged an iota in spite of inconsistency in the business name. There are now 3 versions of my business name floating around.

1) original correct before rename
2) a backwards version in which the second word is first and vice versa - I have absolutely no idea where it originated but I found it in at least 10 various services
3) new version which takes the original name as base and appends 4 descriptive words

Most of what I see via GMB when I expand the listing and it shows some web links is now more accurate than before with the business name. Am not seeing messed up #2. I use the search functions of Moz Local and Yext 'just to see'. I considered signing up for Moz Local, but am holding off.

While mussing around I gathered a bunch of information regarding the aggregators and list service managers and dumped it into a blog entry, a comparison table. It sort of gives me a picture of which services are more common across the board but certainly doesn't confirm that they are the most critical for me or any of my clients. I have been going back/forth with InfoGroup/ExpressUpdate for 2+ weeks (yes before this post) and they do seem to be responsive to my messages.

Bing Places - been waiting for 2+ weeks for the post card so as to confirm.

One of the service managers if nothing else is winning hands down with its list of obscure/niche directories/services. I found another which I won't mention the name here that charges $27 (I think) to submit to 13 directories/services. Curious, I reviewed the list and visited each of the directory/service websites and found each website to be little to nothing more than the same database with a different domain and theme. Why didn't I think of this? Create a spammy, duplicate content menage-a-13 and get rich selling it.