According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, structured citations play an important part in local search rankings. Consistency of structured citations—having the business name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across the company website, Google My Business, and trusted citation sites—is often high in the survey results each year. Here are some notes from the 2017 survey that illustrate how important structured citations are.
Rankings of structured citations in the following surveys:
“Top 50 Local Pack Finder Factors”
#5 – Consistency of Citations on the Primary Data Sources
#8 – Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
#9 – Consistency of Citations on Tier 1 Citation Sources
“Top 30 Foundational Factors”
#2 – Consistency of Citations on The Primary Data Sources
#5 – Consistency of Citations on Tier 1 Citation Sources
#13 – Consistency of Citations on Tier 2 Citation Sources
#20 – Proper Category Associations on Aggregators and Tier 1 Citation Sources
#27 – Enhancement/Completeness of Citations
“Top 30 Competitive Difference-Makers”
#12 – Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
“10 Factors Experts Are Focusing on Less Since the Possum Update”
#4 – Quantity of Structured Citations
#5 – Consistency of Citations on Tier 3 Citation Sources
“These sites…are the most authoritative in the citation space, and combined, they feed hundreds of other sites, so there would be a ripple effect of the benefits from the work.”
Making the Local Citation Journey an Easier One
Casey Meraz stated in his Ultimate Local SEO Audit, “This is where the hard work gets real.” And as Phil Rozek said in his Local Citation Building Best Practices, “Building citations is the hardest part of getting your business visible in the local search results.” I completely agree with both of these statements. My goal with this article is to help make this hard work easier for you by letting you in on a few secrets my team uses. These tips, tricks, and detailed instructions have lessened over-the-phone time with our clients, made the citation building journey less bumpy, and helped us produce more effective results for our clients.
Let me walk you through the top 50 generic citation sites for local SEO and show you what we specifically do for each site when it comes to verifications, how we report duplicates and old listings, and other instructions that will help you get passed certain roadblocks you may encounter. With four ads at the top of many local search results in Google and only a portion of the local pack showing above the fold even when ads don’t show, it is even more important to get the basics down and make sure you don’t miss anything important.
For each citation site, I’ll walk you through following:
Which sites allow a workaround to bypass their verification processes and instructions how to execute those workarounds.
The most difficult top tier sites in great detail
The best ways to remove duplicate listings on each citation site
The best support options to use, including the emails, phone numbers, and contact forms that I’ve had the most success with
Any other tips, tricks, or solutions to common problems
Before we begin, I’ll also cover a few basics, including how many sites actually allow shortcuts, why you should consider Moz Local, the importance of using an email linked to your client’s domain, and a quick note on call-tracking shortcut.
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How Many of the Top 50 Citation Sites Allow Workarounds to Verifications?
One trick my team uses is something I like to call verification workarounds. It’s a real thing. Every citation site’s support team has the power to manually verify your listing on their end. But they don’t tell you that.
As most of us know, not all of the top 50 citation sites require verifications. I counted about 13 sites that have a verification process, and of those 13 there are a solid 6 sites that almost always allow a workaround to their verification process. And when a client has an automated phone system which makes it difficult to receive automated calls, there are about 3 additional sites—on top of the previous 6—that will allow you to bypass their verification process. The remaining 4 verification sites are very helpful in getting your listing verified.
If you don’t want to go through the pain of manual citation work on the four data aggregators as well as CitySearch, Bing Places, SuperPages, Foursquare, Best of the Web, and InsiderPages, as well as the other citation sites these sites send data feeds to, I suggest using Moz Local. This will verify listings for you on the sites that require it and will help you recognize and remove duplicates on these 11 citation sites.
Another great option for data aggregator submissions is BrightLocal.
A quick note in case your client is using a Yext subscription. If your client already has a Yext subscription, ask for the login to their account. If they don’t have the login, and you come across a listing that is powered by Yext (e.g. on CitySearch, Local.com, YP, Yahoo!), and you are having trouble editing or removing that Yext-claimed listing, then here are a few support options you can use:
One of my best tips is to use an email linked to the client’s domain when registering for citation sites and when making requests to these sites’ support teams. They will trust you more than if you used a Gmail or a Hotmail email for example. But in our experience, we can with a little more persistence succeed just as well without a domain email.
A Call Tracking Shortcut
One shortcut I need to mention is performing all of the necessary phone verifications yourself by forwarding a client’s call tracking number to yours—I was once allowed to do this for one of my clients and it was so awesome! I just logged in to their LogMyCalls (now re-branded as Convirza) account, temporarily changed the number to my work phone number, and performed all the phone verifications myself that I needed to complete. Then I changed the number back to the client’s number right after I finished.
As excited as I was, it was a reality that cannot very often be repeated, since most of my clients do not use a call tracking number. I believe the forwarding of one phone number to another can only be done with call tracking numbers, right?
Moreover, I am not encouraging the use of call tracking numbers, as this is often bad practice for local search, unless the number has a local area code and the client owns that number. If the client insists on using a call tracking number, it can be a boon for the local SEO who has to work out the phone verifications!
Verification workaround: Manual verification used to always be available, but now it’s only available in “extreme cases.” Meaning, if a business is unable to verify their Google listing after trying each available method (e.g. due to an automated phone system or a postcard failing to arrive at a business’s location after 15 days), then GMB Support will help to manually verify it if you ask them to.
Contact Google My Business Support and have the representative manually verify the listing on his or her end. This will most likely require the business owner’s or an employee’s consent, as not just anybody can request a manual verification on Google My Business.
The Google representative will either call the number on the listing or email the business owner to verify your relationship to the business, if you are involved in the manual verification process. The rep will likely ask you to email them a couple of photos of the building.
Note: In rare cases, you may be required to do a video verification.
Updating the address when it won’t update via your GMB dashboard edits
Sometimes I will add a suite number, or a street that ends in N, S, E, or W, and Google’s system will not update the edit I made in the GMB dashboard on Google Search or Maps. In this case, I contact GMB Support and have a representative update the information I want added or altered, and the rep will update it manually on their end across all platforms—GMB, Google+, Knowledge Graph, Google Maps.
Note: Suite numbers are no longer factored into Google’s Local algorithm, but are merely there for display purposes. But if you really want your Suite number or your North or South to look a certain way, you can ask GMB Support to fix it for you.
Merging duplicates: Work with GMB Support and have them merge identical existing listings.
Merging old listings:Joy Hawkins discovered a way to merge, or “move,” old listings with the main listing. Here is how you do this:
If the old listing has a verified Google+ page, gain access to the Google Maps listing and first delete the Google+ page. (If the old listing is only on Google Maps and doesn’t have a Google+ page, then you can skip this step)
Contact Google My Business Supportand ask them to “move” the old Google Maps listing into the main listing. This merge the pages, keeping the main page. Reviews from the old listing will also be merged, but I would include—in the original request—a request to also transfer the reviews on the old listing to the main listing.
Note: If there is an existing permanently closed listing that you want to get rid of, you can request to “move” it to the main listing.
Verification method: Phone, text, mail, email, or this other method where they ask you questions about the business. It depends on the business which of the verification methods Bing will offer. And as my colleague, Nate Somsen, discovered, there is also a way to verify Bing listings by website verification, if available.
Verification workaround: Yes. Contact Bing Support via their live chat here: https://www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard/Support (while logged into your account). Ask the representative if they can manually verify the listing for you, and they will respond that they will be happy to do that for you. They will ask if you have access to a domain email (this could be a domain email the client provides you to do for online marketing purposes). Another option is to give Bing Support a company email that is displayed on the client’s website that you have access to. This could be a Gmail or any kind of email. Once you provide them that, they can manually verify the listing for you.
If you do not have access to an email linked to the client’s domain or an email displayed on the client’s website, then the Bing rep will need to contact the client via email or phone in order to verify your relationship with the business. Once the client authorizes that you can manage the listing, the Bing rep will manually verify the listing for you.
Note: If you update anything major—e.g. the phone number or address—after you verify a Bing listing, the listing will be unverified, and you will have to re-verify it.
Removing old locations: Contact Bing Live Chat. Currently, Bing is not removing old listings from their database. Instead, they are marking old listings as “Location Closed”—you will need to mark the old location as closed AND verify the listing. The order doesn’t matter. You can verify the old location before you mark it closed if you want. (I recommend working with Bing Live Chat to get it verified manually.) The old listing will remain on Bing with “Location Closed” displaying in red, and the listing will eventually stop showing up in Bing Local search results for potential customers search for local businesses with the business’s category.
Note: For old locations, you will see “Mark as closed” option and a “Delete” option. Choose the “Mark as closed” option. All that the “Delete” option does is remove the listing from your account. It does not in any way remove the listing from Bing.
Merging duplicates: Duplicate listings (two identical existing listings) can be removed or merged. Contact Bing Live Chat for guidance.
All other issues: Contact Bing Support via the live chat for all other issues. They are very responsive and helpful.
Verification workaround: Yes. Contact [email protected], and ask them to manually verify the listing, and attach “a photo from outside your business.” The photo should include your business sign and the surrounding area. Also, a screenshot of “your business listing including the address would also suffice.” If they reject your request, then they will probably ask you for better photos.
Verification workaround: None. If your client’s phone has an automated system that is unable to receive automated calls from citation sites, you will need to have your client call ExpressUpdate at (800) 794-1404. Tell your client to ask the representative who answers the phone to manually verify the listing phone number (and explain that the phone is automated and cannot receive the verification code). If issues arise, you can always contact [email protected]ogroup.com.
Reporting Duplicates: Send an email to [email protected], and ask to remove any duplicate listings.
Adding a listing to ExpressUpdate
If a client is not listed on ExpressUpdate, then add it to the site:
Once added, wait a few weeks for it to be approved and listed on the site.
Once it shows up on ExpressUpdate, if the listing is searchable by phone number (or if the phone number is showing up on the listing), it is ready to be claimed/verified.
ExpressUpdate will try to call the business owner to confirm the phone number. This usually occurs about two weeks after a listing gets approved on ExpressUpdate.
Toll-free numbers: Generally, ExpressUpdate does not accept toll-free numbers and prefers a phone number with a local area code as the main number. The best solution to this would be to use a local number as the main number in the first place on all citation sites. However, if circumstances dictate that you list the toll-free number as the main number, then you can use an automated citation tool like Moz Local to push the toll-free number onto the ExpressUpdate listing as the main number.
Contact me or other local search experts for other tips if you are stuck in this particular situation.
Wrong phone number listed: If the phone number on the listing is wrong, contact [email protected] and ask them to change it for you. Keep in mind that ExpressUpdate will call the wrong number originally listed on the listing to confirm that that number is wrong. If it is wrong, they will change the number for you.
Service area businesses: ExpressUpdate does not allow you to list employees’ home addresses as business locations on ExpressUpdate. I’ve been told by an InfoGroup representative that “the business location must be a storefront or you can provide a PO Box for a mailing address.” However, I don’t think this is a good policy, since Google does not allow PO Boxes on Google My Business. On the home address policy, I have successfully submitted several businesses with home addresses to ExpressUpdate, so I don’t think that policy is enforced that much.
Another thing is ExpressUpdate does not allow us to hide street addresses, as Phil Rozek explained. He said, “You can’t simply ‘turn off’ the display of your address on your ExpressUpdate listing. But you can search for your listing on the site and request its deletion, OR you can call up Customer Service and ask them to suppress your listing.”
Verification method: Someone at the business will have to call from the number on the listing (Acxiom’s number is 866-750-5438, option 1), and leave a brief message with the business name and username. If you are unable to call from the phone number on the listing, you can email mblm[email protected] with your listing info and attach a recent phone bill with the listing phone number.
Note: Once verified, the business name and phone number cannot be changed, but the address can be changed. If the business name and phone number are perfectly listed to begin with, then you will need to give your client instructions on how to verify the phone number.
Verification workaround: I wouldn’t say there is a workaround, but the use of [email protected] is very helpful in working through the verification process. They will help with any issues you have.
What if the business name and/or phone number are incorrect on the listing you want to verify? You then will need to first delete the listing (which requires verification), and then add a new listing and upload “accepted documentation” in the “Document Upload” section of the dashboard.
Do you need to verify listings before you delete them? Technically, yes. But I have deleted duplicate listings in the past without any pre-verification, and they got officially removed from Acxiom’s database about a week or so after I deleted them from the dashboard.
If the delete option is blocked in the dashboard, you have no other option but verify the listing before being able to delete it. In one case, I contacted [email protected] to update the phone number and address, and Support only updated the phone number. The delete option got blocked, probably because they wanted me to verify the phone number that they just update for me.
So, you can try deleting a duplicate listing without verifying it by claiming into your dashboard, selecting the duplicate listing, and clicking the “Delete Selected Listing” button. But, if the duplicate listing hasn’t been removed from Acxiom’s database after two to six weeks, a verification will probably be needed.
Note: Option 6 on the MyBusinessListingManager’s help line states, “If you would like a duplicate listing removed from the database, please send the business name, address, and phone number to [email protected]. A confirmation will be sent to the email address on the account once the listing is deleted. The duplicate listing will be updated on the website within 30 days.”
If my memory serves me well, I don’t remember MBLM Support ever removing a duplicate listing just by simply providing them the business’s NAP. But it wouldn’t hurt to try!
Six options on MyBusinessListingManager’s Help Line 866-
Verify a listing
If you are unable to log into your account
If you are receiving an IP address error when creating an account
Questions about editing a listing
Questions about adding a new listing
Questions about removing a duplicate listing
All other questions
What documents does Acxiom accept when adding a new listing? You can upload one or more of the following documents:
Federal Tax License Letter (submit the letter that includes your ID number, name, address and/or phone number of business)
State, County, or City Business License or Sales Tax License
Doing Business As License
Fictitious Name Registration
The uploaded document must contain the following:
Once the document is uploaded, Acxiom will verify your listing (the status in the dashboard will say “CLAIMED”). Some listings added to Acxiom may get verified the same day; however, it could take up to 30 days to get verified.
Acxiom only accepts one account per IP address. How do you deal with that problem? I just call the client and walk them through creating an account on https://mybusinesslistingmanager.myacxiom.com/ using their computer. Once the account is created, you can login from your computer and claim up to 5 free listings. You could also set up multiple proxy servers, using a proxy service like Proxy Bonanza, to get multiple IPs so you can create multiple accounts on Acxiom.
When do you start having to pay for multiple listings? If you claim more than five businesses in one account, you are charged $50 per additional listing. If you plan to submit more than 30 listings, Acxiom offers a bulk upload option that is less expensive. For details, e-mail [email protected].
Verification method: No verification required. But for updating existing listings and submitting new listings, I use their free update system. Another option is to use their free API access to add or update a business.
Reporting duplicates: Use https://www.factual.com/contact/update_add_business
Verification workaround: None, unless your client’s phone has an automated system and you are unable to receive the verification code. In that case, email Localeze Support at [email protected], and ask them for the PIN code for the listing you are trying to verify.
For instance, on occasions where my client has an automated phone system and we are unable to receive the PIN code, I email Localeze Support and say:
“Hello, we are having trouble receiving the code from Neustar Localeze. We have an automated system, and we are unable to receive the code needed to verify the phone number on this listing –
[copy/paste the listing URL]. The phone number on the listing is [insert phone number]. Thanks!”
They will first reply and tell you click on the Call Me button. Once you have done that, tell them you have clicked on it. Then they will give you the PIN code for that listing.
Once you have the code, you can verify the phone number by following these steps:
If you are currently on the verification page, enter the PIN code and verify the listing
Click “Check Out” and continue to follow the remaining steps
You get one free annual edit per year for the basic subscription. Make any edits you need to.
If you left the verification page while waiting for the PIN, follow these steps:
If you left the verification page while waiting for the PIN from Localeze Support, search for the listing here:https://www.neustarlocaleze.biz/directory/Search
Click “Add Listing to Cart”
Makes any edits or additions. (For duplicates or old listings, fill in any missing fields, but you are not allowed to make all the information identical to the main listing, as this would most likely create a new listing. Then proceed to close the duplicate or old listing.)
Note: Sometimes, Localeze’s system will end up creating a new listing if you make any edits at this point, such as changing the incorrect phone number to the correct one. If this happens, you can contact Localeze Support to help you verify the original listing. Then you should close one of the listings so that there is only one existing listing.
Choose the unsubscribed listing option, unless the client wants to pay $25/mo. for the True Identity subscription, which I don’t recommend.
Click “Add to Cart”
Click “Call me” or just enter the PIN if you have it
Enter the code that Localeze Support provided you
Verify the listing
You may want to warn the client that an unnecessary call is coming from Neustar Localeze, which they can ignore (if they receive it).
If you haven’t created an account yet:
Click “Log In/Create Account”
Fill out all required fields and click “Create Account”
Click on the shopping cart symbol on the left sidebar
Click “Check out”
Click “Manage Listings” and click on your listing (you can click on the business name)
Click on “Edit Primary Details” to make edits. Note: You get one edit per year for unsubscribed listings. If the listing information is all correct, you don’t need to submit an edit. If the business moves to a different location within the year, you will be able to edit the listing for free.
If any problems come up, contact [email protected] For instance, if you submitted different NAP (in steps #3 or #14) than the original NAP listed on the listing you tried to claim, then you may or may not end up creating a brand new listing. In the case that you do somehow create a new listing, first verify the listing you added to your account, then search for the original listing (or any other old listings and duplicates), and close those listings (see instructions on removing duplicates below).
Removing duplicates: Here are steps to remove a duplicate or old listing from Neustar Localeze. Note: A phone verification is required as part of the duplicate removal process.
Search the directoryfor the duplicate listing
Once you find your invalid listing, click on the listing.
If the listing is currently not being managed, you will then be given the chance to claim the listing.
Click “add this listing to cart” and create an account.
Edit any fields or add any information you want; it just can’t be identical to the main listing, as this would probably create a new listing.
Once your account is created, and the listing is added to your account, first verify the phone number, and then click “Check Out.”
Now you can close the listing: Go to your “Manage Listings” page and use the “tools” icon to select “Close,” and then click “Close listing.”
Other issues: If the phone number on the listing is wrong, contact [email protected] and have them change it for you. Or, ask Support to manually verify the listing. Or, if there are too many technical issues, ask Support to manually close the listing their end (I have had success with doing this recently).
Other things to note: If a client is not already listed on Neustar Localeze, it costs $297/year to add it for a “True Identity” subscription. Once the subscription is canceled, the listing will downgrade to a Basic listing, which gives you the business name, address, phone number, and one category. I personally would not suggest that a client pays for that. I would rather get them listed on every other top citation site plus any other sites that are powered by Localeze, and wait for the client’s NAP to get added to Neustar Localeze in time.
Under the “Business Directory” heading, click on “Claim Your Profile”
Search for business (if you can’t find your business in the Credibility Review database, it still may very well be in their database. I talked to a D&B rep recently, who said that D&B makes it difficult for us to manually find business listings in the Credibility Review database just to get us to call them to sell us on their paid products. If you find it difficult to find an existing business listing, call D&B Support at (866) 584-0283 to have them find it for you and ask them to help you claim it through the free Credibility Review product)
Recently, I was told by a D&B rep that a representative must help you order this free product, and he/she is the one who must set it up in your dashboard (in the past, I used to be able to do it myself). It will take 24-48 hours for your client’s business information to appear in the dashboard for you to edit and make optimizations, including social media links among other things. Also, keep in mind that a D&B rep will likely call the main number after that 24-48 hour period to confirm business information with the owner or someone else at the business.
However, if you are able to pull up your client’s listing, continue with these steps:
Once you find your business, click on “CLAIM THIS BUSINESS”
Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Choose the free plan and claim your profile on D&B Credibility Review® now”
Click on “EDIT YOUR PROFILE” to make any edits and optimizations.
If you haven’t already, register to create an account
“Manage Verification” (“Business Verification”) – this gives you the option to verify the phone number and address (by postcard), if you choose to do so
“Edit Profile” (“Credibility Review”) – this is for editing and optimizing the business, including photos and social links
I don’t know how necessary it is to verify the phone number and address. But I have seen the phone number eventually get verified because of a D&B rep calling the business to verify information, which has happened on several occasions. If you have any problems or questions, call D&B Support.
Updating Listings by Calling Support–another easy option Another option to update listings is to call D&B Support at (866) 584-0283 and ask them to update the listing information.
Removing Listings (aka “Dissolve the DUNS Number”): You can also ask this support line—(866) 584-0283—to remove any existing duplicate listings for you. The term they use for removing listings is “dissolve the DUNS number.” Each listing on Dun & Bradstreet has a 9-digit DUNS number. If you don’t know the DUNS number of the business, a support rep can help find it for you, and then they can remove the listing.
Or just submit a request via https://support.dandb.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.
Finding the DUNS Number of a business: This can be found by asking the representative for it. You can guide the rep by telling them the business information, and they can usually find the DUNS number on their end. Note: Sometimes a rep might tell you an 8-digit DUNS number. Just add a “0” at the beginning to make it 9 digits. Another way for you to find the DUNS number yourself, is by using the “DUNS Number Lookup” –https://www.dandb.com/dunsnumberlookup/. The DUNS number is good to have, so you can help representatives locate existing/duplicate listings faster.
Note: Sometimes, the business information still shows up in the https://www.dnb.com/ search results after the listing has been removed. You may want to remind the rep to also remove the business information from D&B search results.
How to add a new listing to Dun & Bradstreet Note: If the business owner is a sole proprietor, they may already have a listing (and a DUNS Number, too) on D&B. In this case, the business name on their existing listing will likely be the business owner’s first and last name.
Hover your cursor over “D&B D-U-N-S® Number” on the top bar
Click on “Free D-U-N-S Number: Get a D-U-N-S Number in up to 30 days through the standard request process” on the left under “Free D-U-N-S Services”
Click “Get Started”
Sign up or log in if you have already signed up
Search for the company, just in case
If not listed, click “Click here” to get a D-U-N-S number
Choose the FREE option
Fill out fields and click “Next”
“Your D&B® D-U-N-S request has been submitted”—this takes up to 30 days to process. An email confirmation with a link will be sent to the email you used to sign up. Click on the link to log in and access the new D-U-N-S Number
Call customer support at (866) 584-0283 to make sure your request was received. There will most likely be missing data that they still need, so calling customer support is necessary to ensure that everything will go through.
Note: If you are taken to an error page after filling out the fields and clicking next, then you will have to call D&B Support at (866) 584-0283 to have them help you make the request on their end.
Verification method: Phone. Facebook now allows businesses to verify their Facebook page. I don’t know if there is a shortcut, but they give instructions on to verify the page here – https://www.facebook.com/help/100168986860974
Removing duplicates: Here are some links that will guide you when it comes to removing or merging duplicate pages:
How to delete duplicate pages that you have no control over: Click on the ellipsis button […] in the lower right corner of the cover photo. Click on “Report page”. Select the appropriate option and follow the steps to report the duplicate page.
Verification workaround: None, unless the client’s phone has an automated system that cannot receive the automated call from Yelp. In that case, call Yelp Support at (877) 767-9357, and the rep will email you a bypass link. This link will manually verify the listing.
Note: In recent years, I have had success claiming Yelp listings without doing a phone verification. When this happens, I typically sign up with an email linked to the client’s domain, and somehow the verification gets bypassed. It doesn’t happen every time, but I thought it would be worth mentioning.
Removing duplicates: Contact support at (877) 767-9357 and ask them to merge duplicate listings for you, or re-direct old listings to the new listing. Or, you can request the merge via the “Update Business Details” page (detailed steps explained at the bottom of this section)
Note: Sometimes Yelp Support may remove a listing and not tell you that they did. If you check back on the listing you requested to remove by going directly to the listing URL, and you still see it live, there is a chance that it is actually removed. Check Google Search or Yelp’s search results to see if you can find the listing. If you can’t, it has likely been removed by Yelp Support.
Submitting a request yourself as the business owner through the edit page: One way that’s worked for me is acting as the business owner and submitting a request to merge listings through the edit page (located on the public listing). If you say you are the business owner, you may or may not need access to the page. Either way, I feel like domain emails get more responses from Yelp Support, than Hotmail or Gmail emails.
Submitting a request to update listing info or merge duplicates via the “Update Business Details” page:
Go to the public listing
Click on “Edit” to the right of the business address
There are a few things you can do:
Suggest edits to the business information
Mark the listing permanently closed, moved, or temporarily closed
Check the box that says, “This is a duplicate of another business on Yelp” and explain your request in more detail in the comment box
If you want to have a better chance of getting your request fulfilled, include an email that is linked to the client’s domain, or better yet use the business owner’s work email and make the request on behalf of him or her
Include an explanation of what you want to Yelp Support to help you with in the comment box
You need to create an account first on https://adsolutions.yp.com/ before making a request to manually verify the free listing. Remember to check your email for a welcome message from YP. Click on “Verify My Account” to verify the account. Now, you can make the request to manually verify the listing under that email.
Note: I have never tried to manually verify a newly submitted business that has not had an existing listing on YP. I just do a phone verification with the client the traditional way in this case. But let me know if you have had success in manually verifying new listings.
Removing duplicates: Call or email YP support.
Note 1: In our experience, calling YP Support is a little more effective than emailing them. But both methods are equally as responsive.
Note 2: In my experience, claiming and verifying existing YellowPages listings is good to do; however, I often find the edits I make in the dashboard do not go live sometimes, and I end up having to contact YP Support and have them update the listing on their end. So, if you have verified a listing and made edits in the dashboard that don’t go live, contact YP Support and make a request to update any incorrect information.
Note: I have never been much of a fan of Yahoo! Local, but I kept this one on the list mainly to show you that there is still a way to update your Yahoo! Local listing for free via Yext.
Verification method: Phone or legal document, depending on the business.
Verification workaround: I don’t think there is one, unless you consider uploading a legal document to be a workaround.
Updating your Yahoo Local listing Yahoo! Small Business is now Aabaco Small Business (https://www.aabacosmallbusiness.com/). But, according to many local search experts, there is still a way to claim and update your Yahoo! Local listing, and even submit a new listing (this requires verification by any legal document with the business name and address).
See Phil Rozek’s article for instructions on how to update your Yahoo Local listing for free. Basically, you just need to start at the “Yahoo Basic Listing Checkout” page, ignore any invitations to buy anything, and follow the steps to “check out” the listing. You will be taken to the Yext dashboard, where you can perform the verification by phone or legal document.
Note: I recently claimed a listing via Yext and did a phone verification. Once the phone number got verified, here is what Yext said:
“Congratulations! You have successfully verified your location. Your information will be sent to Yahoo within 48 hours. Yahoo will process your request within 2 weeks.”
They also said:
“Yext will deliver your information to Yahoo, but we do not have control over whether or not Yahoo will accept and publish this information. To guarantee your listing information is up to date and locked from being edited by outside sources, upgrade to Yext.”
Removing duplicates: The best way I can think of to do this is to work the local search ecosystem. Meaning, get the client claimed, verified, optimized, and cleaned up on the data providers that feed into Yahoo—namely, ExpressUpdate, Neustar Localeze, and YellowPages—and then hope that your duplicate listings eventually get removed. In 2015, I remember hearing from a Yahoo! sales rep that Yahoo! Local updates their system every 6-8 weeks. However, I don’t know how true that is currently now that Yahoo! Local has been rebranded.
Removing duplicates: Use the contact form, or call support at (844) 736-2649 (just remain on the line; no need to press any options).
Updating listing information: Sometimes you may be unable or it is difficult to gain access to a listing—either because someone has already claimed the listing, or because there is a glitch in the system. In either case, call support at (844) 736-2649 and ask the rep to update the listing for you, for fill out the contact form. If there is a glitch, you could also wait until a future date to re-try claiming the listing.
Verification workaround: Yes, fill out their request form or contact their Twitter support page and ask them to verify the listing under the Foursquare profile you created—provide your Foursquare profile URL and the listing URL in the tweet or message. You can use your personal Twitter profile to make the request.
Removing duplicates: You can do this in your account. Go to the dashboard and click on “Manage your listing.” Scroll all the way down to the bottom, and click on “Advanced Tools.” Enter the Duplicate’s venue ID in the text box under “Report a duplicate location.” If a duplicate listing happens to be claimed another user, then contact support via the request form or Twitter.
One more tip: You cannot manually add the client’s Facebook URL through the dashboard. You need to stay logged in and then go to the public listing. Click on “Edit this place,” then “Suggest an edit” and add the Facebook URL in the “Contact and Other Info” section. Doing this will make the Facebook URL go instantly live on the public listing. You can also add a longer business description via the “Suggest an Edit” option.
Note 1: Make sure to update the listing on ExpressUpdate, as data feeds get sent to MapQuest frequently from there.
Note 2: Business hours are unable to be updated directly on MapQuest. The only way is through ExpressUpdate.
16 – Manta
Verification method: Phone (must be done by the business owner, or someone at the business location). In my opinion, it is not really necessary to verify Manta listings. The listing is already live, and all you get is a green checkmark on the bottom right corner of the company logo. It’s also a gimmick to sell more online advertising options to business owners. If you want to proceed with verification, have your client call the number provided and the verification code. Remind the client to avoid falling for Manta’s advertising offers.
Removing duplicates: Fill out the request form (choose “Profile – Remove”)
Updating claimed listings: Fill out the request form (choose “Profile – Updates”)
Note: Sometimes the listing you want to update is already claimed by another user. In this case, since it’s so difficult on Local.com to gain access to claimed listings, I recommend creating a new listing and then requesting to remove the originally claimed listing.
Removing duplicates and other issues: Use this request form. For duplicates, choose “Report duplicate listings.” Or, you try calling the advertising number at (888) 960-8668. The sales reps who pick up the phone can help you with free listing support issues.
Updating existing listings and removing duplicates: Either call Yellowbook support at (800) YB-YELLOW or contact their support email at [email protected]. In my experience, the support email is more effective than calling the support number because the update requests go live instantly, rather than waiting till the next “book” comes out.
Verification workaround: Yes. Send a copy of the client’s business license to [email protected] and ask them to manually verify the listing.
If the client’s phone has an automated system, you can also call customer support at (800) 611-4827 and ask them to manually verify the listing for you. You will probably need to coordinate a 3-way call with the client and customer support, so they can authorize your relationship with the client before they manually verify the listing for you.
Reporting duplicates: Contact [email protected]. Note: They will fulfill your requests, but they may or may not notify you when your request has been completed. So make sure to follow up on any CityGrid|CitySearch requests you make.
Adding a new listing: It’s possible to request to add a new listing by emailing [email protected], but really all you need to do is submit a listing to ExpressUpdate (if a listing does not already exist), get the phone number verified on the ExpressUpdate listing, and wait for ExpressUpdate to feed the new listing into CityGrid|CitySearch.
Categories: In order to change or add categories on this site, you must call support at (800) 611-4827. There is no other way.
Note: Newly added free listings will not get indexed by Google, and I believe they will not even show up in chamberofcommerce.com search results. But you will have a newly added live listing to show your client.
Important to note: As I said, you can update NAP on your chamberofcommerce.com listing and remove duplicates, but something that every local business should consider doing is joining their local chamber of commerce. As Max Minzer explained about Chamber of Commerce, “do not sign up for actual chamberofcommerce.com (unless you really want to). Find your local chamber of commerce and go to their website to get a membership.” Read Max’s explanation of the impact becoming a member of a local chamber of commerce.
So, once you update your client’s information on chamberofcommerce.com, leave that site alone and encourage your client to join a local chamber of commerce, which will be where the real benefits come in.
Claim the unclaimed duplicate (you may need to use a different email address than you used for your main listing)
Click on “Account Settings”
Click on “Delete Listing”
Support options for removing claimed listings & working through other issues: Removing a listing claimed by another user is pretty difficult on MerchantCircle. It’s been done a few times before by my team, but many times we don’t what get we ask for.
Nevertheless, here are some support options for updating listings, removing duplicates, and working through other issues:
Note 1: It’s best to search for existing HotFrog listings via Google Search. Google site:hotfrog.com + company name and click on the first ~3 organic results, and search for the business on those pages. If you can’t find the business on HotFrog via this method, it might be safe to add a new listing.
Note 2: When adding/promoting a product or service to your listing (in the “Products and services” section), make sure to always choose “Product” under “Add or edit products and services,” whether it’s a service or product. For some reason, Hotfrog’s system will not let you submit anything marked as a “Service.”
Tip 1: Brownbook tells you that you cannot edit the business name, but if you message the above email, you can request to edit the business name.
Tip 2: You can add more business information to the listing—like hours, payment options, or anything–by clicking “Add another block of text” in the “Customize your business page” section and add whatever you want in the block of text. You can do this multiple times for various types of information you would like to add, or you can add various pieces of business information into one block of text (e.g. description, year founded, hours, social links, etc).
Updating listings: If you update the CityGrid|CitySearch listing, then the corresponding Insiderpages listing will also update. If the Insiderpages listing does not update in a timely manner, you can contact [email protected] to ensure the listing gets updated.
Note 1: If GetFave Support doesn’t respond to your request to remove a duplicate listing, then you can always claim the duplicate listing and edit the information to be identical to the main listing. It’s probably better to have two listings for the same business with the same information than different information.
Note 2: I don’t believe GetFave accepts Suite numbers, so don’t worry if this site doesn’t allow you to add your Suite number to your address.
Type in the category and City, State and press Enter
Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and search for the business. The companies are listed in alphabetical order.
If the company is not listed yet, it may not be live yet.
Note: If you chose the “Uncategorized” category, you won’t be able to search for the business listing via https://www.angieslist.com/companylist/. In that case, you could try Googling site:angieslist.com + company name.
Editing and Removing DexKnows listings: You can try this contact form. However, here is some guidance on who to contact based on what the listing URL is composed of:
InfoGroup-powered DexKnows listings:
Most often listings are created via ExpressUpdate (you can tell by looking at the DexKnows listing’s URL. There will be an “I” for InfoGroup between the business name, hyphen, and URL ID number). If there is an “I” (that’s an upper-case “i”) in the listing URL, then contact ExpressUpdate at [email protected]
YellowPages- or WhitePages-powered DexKnows listings:
Verification method: Phone. If the phone number is wrong on the listing, you will need to request to update the phone number by going to the public listing, clicking on the “Report a mistake with this listing” button, and answering the questions.
Verification workaround: No, unless the phone has an automated system. If it does, follow these steps to manually verify the listing:
Go to the public listing and click on “Report a mistake with this listing.”
Select “Business information (phone, address, map, etc) is incorrect or missing”
Select “Yes” for “Are you the owner of the business or do you work for it?”
Select “Not direct. My phone number is handled by an automated call directory”
If you haven’t already registered for iBegin, do that.
Click the “File a Report” link
Fill out the form, state that you do not have a direct line, and include the username or email you used to register.
Removing duplicates: You will need to claim the duplicate listing, verify the phone number, and click “Delete Listing” in the dashboard. If the phone number is wrong, you will need to file a report and verify it once it gets updated.
If a duplicate listing is claimed by another user, you can either (1) try reporting the duplicate via this contact form https://www.ibegin.com/contact/, or (2) reporting the duplicate using the “file a report” process started by clicking “Report a mistake with this listing” button on the public listing.
Note: According to this https://www.makeitlocalmarketing.com/about, “MakeItLocal Marketing is the official technology partner, business development and digital marketing affiliate for MakeItLocal.com,” which is “managed by a strategic alliance between Comporium Media Services, (Rock Hill, SC) and Shrewd Marketing LLC, (Rochester, NY).”
So, if you end up having trouble getting in contact with MakeItLocal Support, you could try contacting MakeItLocal Marketing, Comporium Media Services, or Shrewd Marketing.
To be honest, at times I might have been a little hesitant to write this post—mainly because I don’t want the citation sites that always offer workarounds to verifications to get bombarded with an overload of requests to manually verify listings, and decide to stop helping internet marketers in that sort of way. But I decided that if people share their local SEO knowledge with me, I should do the same.
I wish you all the best in your citation auditing, adding, claiming, verifying, editing, optimizing, duplicate removal, and merging efforts. I know it’s hard, rigorous, and tedious work, but I hope this resource will help make your job easier, and that you will see better results from your citation work.
Austin Lund is a Local SEO specialist at Big Leap. He is on his 6th year in the local search industry and is amazed at all the changes that have taken place and still continue to take place. He gives a special thanks to the Local Search and Local Search Pros Google+ communities for all the local search knowledge they give so freely. Outside of his job, Austin likes to sing professionally, swim competitively, play basketball, and watch movies.