In the local SEO game having consistent, accurate, and singular citations is essential to the success of your local SEO campaign. Removing duplicate citations has always been a problem in the local SEO realm. It’s such a large problem that will hurt your local SEO campaign that I even wrote a 6,000+ word article on how to find and remove these tricky listings.
A few months ago Yext announced their newest service offering, a duplicate suppression service. In this blog post I will tell you a little bit about how this service works, what issues it solves, and if it’s a good deal or not.
How Does This Service Work?
So how does the Yext Duplicate Suppression service work? To use this service you must be signed up for their Powerlistings program. This service has a built in search feature that will find potential duplicates and then give you the option to suppress them. Once you have identified a duplicate listing you can mark it as a duplicate. At this point it will then be pushed to Yext and the publisher for a manual review. This is an important step in the process because if it didn’t have a manual review process then competition could use this for evil. Once the manual review is successful it will then setup a redirect (usually a 301) to the main listing already managed by Yext. If you also find duplicates on your own you can submit these URL’s as well. We will talk more about this a bit later. But how big of a problem are duplicate listings?
How Big of a Problem are Duplicates and Can You Fix Them Manually?
Having accurate citations that are not duplicates is essential to your success. Basically if you have duplicate listings out there you will be shooting yourself in the foot. It’s for this reason that it’s so essential to get them fixed. Now while you can remove them on your own there are problems with trying to do it. Generally there are three problems that come to mind.
- The publisher may not respond to the request in a timely fashion or at all
- They can come back after time (more on this in a bit)
- Most publishers will simply delete a listing and not redirect the old one
Let’s cover these issues in more detail. First off, many websites that host business information have millions of listings on their website. With that many listings they may not get to your request due to the sheer volume. In some cases they don’t even respond at all.
Secondly, duplicate listings can come back over time. If you have an incorrect listings you have to realize that it came from somewhere. If you have the listing fixed or removed thats awesome. However to get the sheer volume of data publishers have they have to get that information from someone. The way that these systems work is that they compare the data they have with the new data from the source. If there is a discrepancy as in they don’t have the listing provided by the source, they will likely just end up re-creating the listing over time. It sucks, but it’s a reality of the local data ecosystem. That is also one reason why us local SEO nerds are big proponents of the data aggregators that feed the data to these websites. Keep in mind though that it’s not a one stop shop. There are a lot of places this data can be pulled from so you will likely never fix them all.
Third, lets assume the publisher does see your email, complies, and deletes the listing. In this case the data that Google may have already incorrectly associated the listing with your business. When the listing disappears it can take some time for it to associate the right listing. Like we discussed above it could also come back in time. This can be a major problem in the long run. In the ideal situation you would have a 301 redirect.
How Yext Duplicate Suppression Works With These Issues
To their credit Yext did a very good job given the problem to correct these issues. While their software will of course only work with the publishers they have an arrangement with (40+), many of them are from some of the higher quality and therefore most important citation sources. Since they have these pre-existing arrangements with these publishers they don’t have the problem of getting them to comply. In fact, many of them are fixed within 24 hours with is very cool.
Although listings can still come back with Yext’s duplicate suppression (If they pull from new data sources, etc.) you can feel confident that the suppressed listings are there to stay suppressed.
Lastly, one of the things I like about Yext’s service is that most of the duplicate listings are in fact redirected by 301 redirects to the proper listing. This is a major plus in my mind since you can force a re-crawl to these and get them recognized pretty fast in Google’s eyes. While not all of their publishers offer this it seems like the majority of them do offer it.
Is Yext’s Service a One Time Thing?
Unfortunately their service is not a one time thing by cost standpoint or by a set it and forget it standard. They do charge an annual fee for this service and just like any other duplicate fixing project you need to be aware of the future. Basically I mean that duplicates can be created from a number of sources and if you don’t identify them then the problem will still exist. Even if you use a service like this you need to do your due diligence and check every so often for more duplicates. As you find them you can submit them to Yext to fix via their URL submit option.
What’s Casey’s Personal Opinion?
If you can afford the service I think it’s a good idea. Part of me says this because I always want to be the “best” and this is an easier and cost effective way to do it. The other side of me recognizes the importance of doing this and having consistent data so it’s kind of a no brainer on that aspect. On the other side of the coin it does cost money, so if you are doing everything yourself you could just do it yourself. There is another problem with doing it yourself that can arise though too. Since Yext pays these publishers some are taking it as a new revenue stream. In time this could mean that free requests to fix data could disappear entirely. All in all I think it’s worth the value and do recommend this service to clients who have it in their budget.October 13, 2014 | Local SEO