Yahoo! Local seems to be going from bad to worse. When a few months ago owner verification was introduced to substitute the preceding moderated manual-only verification, I still had hope that things at Yahoo! Local are improving. Later on, when I realized that the turnaround times for the local listings to get verified, approved, updated are close to unacceptable, that hope started dying off. Today my hope is completely gone.
A few days ago Yahoo posted the following message in their Local Listings Help Topics center:
Currently the review time for Enhanced Listings is 3-5 business days and for Basic Listings the turn around time is between 8-10 weeks.
In other words, if you are not using their paid service, you might need to wait 2+ months for any sort of update. This, combined with the fact that Yahoo! Local’s verification postcards take between 4 weeks and never to arrive, means that if your local listing information is currently wrong, the chances are good that it will stay so for at least the next 3 months. Did I also mention that phone support, in any form, is not available to non-paying customers?
Having all this in mind, here is an interesting accidental case study I had the opportunity to be an active observer in:
I was recently working with a business with 300+ locations, helping them set their profiles on some of the main business directories, Yahoo! Local being among them. The turnaround time I reported above was relatively accurate in this case:
– 4-6 weeks for the postcards to arrive (if ever)
– Afterwards, 6-10 weeks for the moderators to approve the changes
The bad news come when the moderators decline the changes. Note that in the mentioned case all the information is checked and verified with the business management, and the structure of the submitted information is the same, i.e. between listing A and listing B, the only difference is the address and the phone number (and potentially the working hours). And there came the question – why some of the listings have been approved, and some were declined. The decline reasons included:
Reason 1. Please see the Local Listing Guidelines for more information. If a Marketing Dashboard is associated with this listing, it will be canceled. Paid Reputation Tracker Pro and/or Local Visibility Pro services for your Marketing Dashboard (if any) will also be canceled and a refund will not be provided.
Reason 2. Information provided in your business listing does not match information on your web site. For example, your business address, phone number, or both may not match. Please review your business information.
Both of these were invalid reasons in any of the cases. However, as the turnaround time for re-verification and re-approval is 3 months, this means that it may take more than half a year in cases like these for the listings to (potentially) be approved and updated.
In my opinion, this is very bad even per Yahoo’s standards.