Just when I thought Yahoo! Local couldn’t get worse, they surprised me. A few days ago I noticed that the usual “Edit business details” link under the business information on a Yahoo! Local listing has been substituted by “Publish your Yahoo listing on 40 more top local directories” (check here what this means).
This practically means that Yahoo is ready to sacrifice the accuracy of their business information, and more specifically - the user-based and business-owner-based feedback part of the process of keeping the information accurate, for the sake of fast cash. For a comparison, imagine a case where you go to your/your client’s Google+ Local listing, click on Manage this page, and you are redirected to a paid solution similar to AdWords Express, instead of a page where you could edit the information and submit it for verification.
However, this “inevitability” sales strategy is neither unique, nor employed for the first time in the space. A few weeks ago MapQuest decided to move their whole local listings business management business to Yext, and if you tried to claim your listing, you would be redirected to Yext’s platform.
For quite some time now similar thing has been happening with Local.com - when you click on “Claim Your Listing” you are taken to a page that gets you introduced to Yext.
Even longer ago, Whitepages (and their whole network) adopted this model, too. In Whitepages’ business listings help page the following is stated:
To Add, Edit or Remove a Business Listing:
Option 1: Contact Listing Provider (ExpressUpdate)
Option 2: Update all your listings with Yext PowerListings
Fortunately, there are workarounds (at least for now) for getting a listing to each of these business directories created or updated. As such workarounds tend to be abused (and subsequently stop working) if shared publicly, I would not share them here, but would be happy to do so if contacted personally.
Do you think these serious changes in the way business directories react on the changing environment in the space would affect small business owners positively or negatively?