Aug 062012
 

While Google is gradually cleaning the mess with Plus Local (a step-by-step guide on how to help them in this endeavor by Mike Blumenthal here, and an official one here – I prefer Mike’s guide), Yahoo is adding new features to its Yahoo! Local Listings product. I noticed the last week that when you submit a new listing to Yahoo! Local, or when you claim an already existing one, you are now prompted to verify your ownership:

The email verification is a good and convenient option, which neither Google, nor Bing currently provide.

What does this addition mean? First, it should generally take much shorter time for a listing to be verified and published (in case you choose any other option than the postal mail one). Previously, the process was being completed manually by Yahoo’s moderators and in some cases this was taking well over a month. Apparently, the moderators’ job will now be eased, and most probably some of them will be relocated and/or discarded.

In addition to these changes, the overall layout of Yahoo! Local’s business dashboard has been improved. The enhanced listings ads are now much more prominent than before and getting a preview like the one below is part of the listing creation process:

I have always recommended the enhanced listings. They are a no-brainer at less than $10 per month (previously there were further discount offers, too), although they do not really help in the Yahoo’s local search rankings.

I feel like these improvements have something to do with Marissa Mayer (ex-Vice President of Local at Google) becoming CEO of Yahoo.

  31 Responses to “Yahoo! Local Adds Owner Verification”

Comments (31)
  1. Hi Nyagoslav,

    I noticed this new feature recently as well. Pretty cool stuff! One thing to note, after I completed a verification(by phone), it granted access to the marketing dashboard with the reputation management features. However, the listing itself still said “pending review” and still has to be reviewed through a moderator with what seems to be the same old process.

    Existing listings in my Yahoo account are all still active, but now have an option to sign up for the marketing dashboard.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Colan, this is really interesting to hear. I have tried only the mail and email verification up to now. I am sure this is still in a tune-up process. I truly hope soon they will regain some of their long-forgotten power in the local space.

  2. I feel like we are going to be seeing a lot of MM’s changes to the local search on Yahoo. It was kind terrible before but Yahoo Local had a lot of potential but with a couple of changes I can see it being something very very useful. I use Yahoo mainly for my email and the news, if they keep people there with a better search I see them grabbing a bigger piece of the search market.

  3. I noticed this too a week or so ago but didn’t think anything of it. It’s been a while since I’ve had to claim a listing for a client. I wasn’t given all the options shown in this post to verify. I was only given the option to verify by phone or mail. I chose mail because I wasn’t with the client to do it via the phone. It took about a week to get our postcard though so it was fast.

    Travis Van Slooten

    • Good to hear the process is fast. As I mentioned above in my comment, I believe this is a work in progress, so let’s hope it will just be getting better.

      • Wanted to give you an update on this. My client actually received a letter from Yahoo! – not the standard postcard you would expect. Also, after I entered the verification code it activates your marketing dashboard immediately but the listing itself still goes into a manual review before going live. The message I received said it would take 5-20 days to review.

        Travis Van Slooten

        • Thanks for the info, Travis! Actually, just today I also managed to verify a listing via email and yes – it appears to be exactly as you say. Let’s hope this verification will soon be used for all the management of the listings, not just the marketing dashboard.

  4. Hi Nyagoslav,

    Ran into this too a couple days back. The dashboard looks nice, haven’t tested any of the new service offerings. Hopefully more new ideas to come, Yahoo sorely needs it.

    Doesn’t appear this is a MM initiative though – Yahoo announced the features back in May. Guess they’re going live with them now.
    http://www.screenwerk.com/2012/05/02/yahoo-intros-new-marketing-dashboard-for-smbs/

    • David, I also believe this is not solely MM’s initiative. I commented here that this has most probably been a feature that was just waiting for the right signal by the higher management staff to be launched. And most probably that’s what MM did immediately after she took the CEO position. She started moving things around.

  5. Yahoo has got to have the slowest editorial review process around. I submitted my last round of changes back on July 24th. Today is August 8th and I’m still waiting to have a blatantly incorrect address revised.

  6. No, these changes have nothing to do with her as they took effect before she got there! I feel local greatly suffered at Google under her tutelage! Just a complete bumble!

    • Jamie, why do you believe Google’s local effort suffered under her management? Google is practically the indisputable #1 in local + they are monopolists in mobile-local. In terms of revenue they are crushing all competition, too.

  7. I’ve found that the best way to get Yahoo Local issues resolved is to pay $10 a month for an enhanced listing. This gives you the ability to speak to a sales rep who can push your problems through to resolution.

    I have had problems getting Yahoo Local listings verified when the NAP on the business website didn’t match up with what was in the listing, so get your website info up to date before trying to list or make changes to your NAP at Yahoo.

    • Great points, Mary! Support for paid customers would always be better than support for “free” customers, right? :) Maybe something Google should definitely be looking into, although I do not really think “enhanced listings” is a model Google would even be considering. However, paid support for their local products (other than AdWords Express) is very much needed.

  8. I have attempted to claim a number of listings for clients and have never seen anything other than the mail option. Despite working this process for about a month, I have not heard of the return of any of the postcards / letters. While it is possible they have been lost (or my clients are just not telling me they arrived), I am wondering if there is anything I can do to be presented with other options. Is it possible cookies on my machine may be limiting my choices for example? Are others (other than Travis) having success with receiving the letters?

    • I am currently having the same issue with postcards or letters not showing up. Some accounts have not received postcards for over a month. I have re-sent postcards as well, still nothing. I contacted Yahoo local support to receive a standard response. Still no help or update on this issue.

  9. i have also tried this new feature of confirming listing edits through the email process and it seems that yahoo never sends the verification code in the email so now i have a ton of profiles which are pending awaiting verification. and ive tried to contact yahoo on several occasions and still havent heard anything for months….also i manage way too many profiles to do it by mail or phone. any suggestions?

    • You might try your luck with their customer service phone – 1-866-255-0108. They are usually very responsive there.

      On a side note, if you check the previous comments under the article, you will notice that actually those verification are not for the listing itself, but rather for the marketing dashboard, which is a separate product. So if I were you I was not going to worry too much.

      • @Nyagoslav, for clarification, are you implying that a Yahoo Local listing can be published live without the need to verify it (via email, phone, postcard, or SMS)? If so, I wonder if verifying it allows it to be published sooner…

        On a side note, we’ve started to notice email addresses from the “Business Email” field display on live listings: http://goo.gl/D5VSC (under “Other Contact Info” after clicking “More details”).

        • Kerry,
          I was actually testing your theory (if you verify a listing, would it be published faster), but I haven’t seen any improvements in terms of timing, unfortunately. The verification is for the Marketing Dashboard feature only, BTW.

  10. I am also waiting for several clients to receive/return the verification postcards. However, it appears that any edits made to a listing now require re-verification! Would it be better to just not sign up for the Dashboard?

    • Hey Lissa,
      It’s up to you if you’d sign up or not, but the problem is that all edits that you do pass through manual check-up, which is not based on the fact that you do have the marketing dashboard feature attached to your account.

  11. I’m working with a client that had his business listed by a current inmate who has used the listing to denegrate the opposing attorney (treating him as though he was his attorney). A lot of the statements are opinions (first five reveiws) but in one he misleads with some totally incorrect info which a judge didn’t take to kindly to. We now have the court order and after 9 hours of research and wrong numbers and misleading info we have an address to which we can deliver the court order. What really suprised me was how this guy listed the business and left a errorneous name (which anyone would know isn’t a name but a phrase) and created a total online listing without verification and without the real owner having anything to do with it but to have his name smeared for having done a good job. Yeah he put him away. Normally I’ve learned to trace anyone backwards to origin but this was slick and dead ends. If he hadn’t made some statements about what he was going to post we wouldn’t have been able to connect the dots. There is a real potential for misuse and I’ve also verified this happening to other businesses and people who have had no recourse to clear their reputation. Address this issue and yahoo will clean up big time. Until the recent changes, all bets were up on who was running your listing.

  12. With regards to my last comment; The inmate did the listing from the Prison.

  13. Yahoo Local does not work at all. I paid for an enhanced listing 9.95 per month for over two years and there were ads above mine not even from the same city and none of them had paid for enhanced and most of them were out of business.
    IT DOES NOT WORK. DON’T PAY. ALSO There is no verification process. they say there is but there is not!

  14. I need to verify listings for a business with a PBX system. We are trying to figure out how to do this. The client wants to use one number for the verification and a different number in the listing. Can we do this? Is it possible to change the phone number after the listing is verified.

  15. Havent used yahoo local listing all these while. Focused on google plus place all these while.

  16. It never ceases to amaze me how many SEO companies neglect to get their customer’s listing up on Yahoo. Google+, Bing Places and Yahoo Local should all be claimed and optimized listings. Even if Yahoo as less market share it has a unique group of people that only use Yahoo for search –nothing else. The best thing about Yahoo Local is the upgrade to the Yahoo Localworks seems to be an actual ranking factor (for both local and organic placement).

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