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Listing Management




Unfortunately, when you cancel this service our automated methods (APIs) to update your listings go away and your listings simply revert back to the state they were in prior to us taking them over. In most cases, 60% of the business listings disappear or start showing incorrect information. Of the other 40% that remain, 35% are stripped partially or fully of any enhanced details. Only 5% of listings remain accurate and feature enhanced details.

How do bad listings originate within an intelligent service like a search engine or a map? 

The assumption is that if one of those exists, someone must have created it for their benefit. But the truth is that a bad listing originates for a number of reasons:

Incorrect Data from Compiled Sources

Intelligent services, like search engines and maps, compile data from a number of different sources. These sources include a wide variety of public records, data aggregators, users, and businesses themselves. Each intelligent service weights their sources differently based on historical accuracy, data recency, and other factors of relevance. The service then leverages a proprietary algorithm to return the best result at the moment it is requested by a consumer.

This process is inherently subject to error, so intelligent services are constantly updating their algorithms. The assumption that there’s a perfect, third-party source of data out there upon which all intelligent services rely is simply wrong. Rather, there are some sources that develop a trusted reputation for quality over time and therefore, bubble to the top. That source is agencies like us that compile data straight from the business itself, your business.

User Suggestions
Apple, Bing, Google, Facebook, and other intelligent services actively solicit user suggestions to help “fill in the blanks” of their knowledge base. You’ve seen this if you’ve ever tagged a location on Facebook and been asked if they’re open until 11 PM or have live music. Shake your phone while using Google Maps, and you’re instantly asked to “Report a Data Issue” or “Submit a New Place.”

These efforts are well-intentioned and can really help improve the breadth of information a service provides for those businesses that do not actively manage their digital knowledge online. But for those that do, unfiltered user suggestions can wreak havoc with up-to-date business information. That’s why our software created Publisher Suggestions, a feature that lets us review user suggestions and decide which, if any, should be published.

Right now, the feature can be used to monitor and review user suggestions on Google and Yelp with more to come.

Data Degradation
We have a sweet infographic to share! What you see below is a time-lapse documenting how one deli’s listing in Texas changed over the course of a year. Our research team monitored this listing (touching nothing) in order to illustrate how a business listing will change if it is not actively managed today.

Across the 10 services monitored, every piece of information about the business changed in those 12 months through no action by the business itself. Crazy, huh? So why did they change? Because of the ongoing efforts of the services to improve the information they provide to their users. 

As a service gets in a fresher bit of information about a company, it may be weighted as more reliable even if objectively it is wrong. That’s the guessing game intelligent services have to play in the absence of truly reliable information from the business itself.

This is why we are adamant that the era of “set it and forget it” manual submission is over. To be certain your digital knowledge is accurate everywhere it can be, you must actively manage, monitor, update, and evolve it on an ongoing basis. 

Now, while we hope one of our customers never feels the need to cancel, it does happen.

Upon cancellation, we leave all of their information with the service. At that point, it’s up to the respective intelligent service, and them alone, to determine whether to continue to display that information or supplant it with third-party data that their algorithm determines is more accurate and fresh (regardless if that is objectively true or not). 

In other words, once we stop actively managing your digital knowledge, you are back at the mercy of each intelligent service’s data compilation and algorithmic decisions regardless of how good the data was that we left with the service.

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