Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Marketing Day: Beacons are dead, Snapchat shutters Story Explorer feature & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:


Blogs & Blogging

Business Issues

Content Marketing

Conversion Optimization

Copywriting, Design & Usability

Display & Contextual Advertising


Email Marketing

General Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Industry


Mobile/Local Marketing

Other Items

Social Media


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Author: Amy Gesenhues

The post Marketing Day: Beacons are dead, Snapchat shutters Story Explorer feature & more appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Daily Search Forum Recap: November 30, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google Search Console Removes The Content Keywords Report
    After months at hinting at removing the content keywords report from the Google Search Console, Google has officially done it. As we said in May, one of the reasons Google removed it was due to user confusion…
  • Google Knowledge Panel With Video Carousel
    Google is now showing videos in the knowledge graph panel on mobile. Here is a picture from Sergey Alakov, who spots so many Google features…
  • Now Google Search Console’s Update Indicator Line Is Clickable
    Yay, I just checked and the Google Search Console “update” line indicator found in many of the reports within Google Search Console can now be clicked on. In the past, you had to view the page source…
  • Google Search Console Removed Feature Phone URL Error Report
    Google has dropped the “featured phone” filter in the URL error report section within Google Search Console. You can access the URL error reports under Current Status > Crawl Errors > Site Errors > URL Errors when you login to the Google Search Console…
  • Google & Bing Increase File Size Limit Of Sitemap File By 400%
    Both Google and Bing announced that they have increased the file size limit of your sitemap files from 10MB to 50MB, a 400% increase. Microsoft said “most sitemaps are under this 10 MB file limit, these days…
  • Jagdish Chandra Bose Google Logo
    Jagdish Chandra Bose today has a Google Doodle, Google logo, on Jagdish Chandra Bose’s Doodle features his crescograph, a device for measuring growth in plants…
  • Google Bike Trailer In Indonesia
    Julianto posted a photo of what appears to be a bike trailer, but I am not 100% sure if that is the case. It has Google branding all over it, but I doubt it is actually from Google. The language on t

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

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Author: (Barry Schwartz)

The post Daily Search Forum Recap: November 30, 2016 appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


SearchCap: Google drops feature phones, Sitemap file size increases & videos in panels


Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

Local & Maps

Link Building



SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post SearchCap: Google drops feature phones, Sitemap file size increases & videos in panels appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Commerce Signals and PlaceIQ turn in-store sales data into campaign optimization tool


Commerce Signals and PlaceIQ today announced a partnership that will deliver in-store sales data to PlaceIQ customers (agencies and brands). The new offering from Commerce Signals is called “Databridge” and it provides purchase data from Visa (Advertising Solutions) and related insights for marketers.

What’s significant is that the anonymous transactions data can be delivered within 72 hours to enable it to be used as part of campaign optimization. This offers another layer of insights that can help brands and retailers do better media planning and optimization.

PlaceIQ, among multiple others now, uses location and store visits as a tool to identify and segment audiences and deliver offline attribution insights. Store sales data goes one step beyond this to show the tactics, channels or campaigns actually motivate buying behavior. Notwithstanding Cyber Weekend’s big numbers, more than 90 percent of retail sales happen in stores and the vast majority of service-related transactions are offline as well.

PlaceIQ’s EVP Nadya Kohl said that the company isn’t replacing store visits with transactions data. She said however that transactions represent the “next generation” of attribution information. Kohl explained that the additional data enables new insights and analysis. For example, marketers will be able to understand which campaigns delivered visitation without conversion — why people may have come into a store but not bought, a real-world version of “shopping cart abandonment.”

There will also be corresponding audience insights: which groups or types of individuals saw the campaign and purchased? That can in turn fuel lookalike audience campaigns later online. Kohl added that marketers will also be able to improve retargeting because they can eliminate people who actually bought things in stores from seeing the same ads subsequently.

Adam Paulisick, CPO, Commerce Signals, stressed the media planning implications of the data. He said that marketers will be able to see which campaigns or tactics were delivering in-store sales most efficiently, at the lowest cost. Paulisick also stressed that his company is trying to help remove the complexity from the data analysis and provide actionable, accessible insights to marketers who aren’t data scientists.

In addition to Visa, Mastercard also licenses its transactions data to marketers and other third parties for similar use cases. Google has a similar capacity to access store transactions via third parties and has been testing this for some time. However, the company hasn’t announced any new capabilities recently beyond the expansion of store visits measurement.

All this should be seen in the context of the increasing importance of offline and location data as a kind of general tool or real-world cookie to enable holistic campaign targeting and performance insights. Accordingly, we’ll see more transaction data being integrated into analytics tools to enable offline-transaction based optimization in the year ahead.

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Author: Greg Sterling

The post Commerce Signals and PlaceIQ turn in-store sales data into campaign optimization tool appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Is in-house marketing better than using an agency?


Is it better to do your online marketing in-house or through an agency? It’s an important decision to make.

Now, you should probably know that I’m a founder of an online advertising agency, so I might have a bit of a bias. But I have worked in-house and done my own fair share of hiring agencies throughout my career, so I’ve seen the good and bad of both options.

With that in mind, I’m going to try to take off my marketing agency hat and tell you the honest differences that come with both approaches.

So, agency or in-house? There are basically three differences between marketing agencies and in-house marketing:

1. Diversity of skills

Generally speaking, most online marketers are like Liam Neeson in “Taken.” They have a specific set of skills.


Some are perfect for paid search, while others are masters of social media, mavens of content marketing or rulers of conversion rate optimization. But as good as someone might be in one area of digital advertising, online marketing is simply too complex for a single person to be an expert at everything (and still have human social skills).

That means you could end up hiring a paid search specialist only to find out that your competition is getting way better results from content marketing.

What now? Well, you could hire a content marketer, but most companies don’t have infinite money to throw around. So, what should you do?

Keep your marketing diversified

It can be hard to find the right team of in-house marketers for your company. Investing in any new marketing channel is a risk, and what happens when you hire someone whose skill set doesn’t fit your company’s needs?

Situations like this lead to lots of companies getting stuck with one marketing channel. And all too often, it’s not the optimal channel for them to be using.

In addition, one-trick-pony marketing can land you in situations where you have a fantastic landing page designer, but your ads are struggling and bringing in the wrong traffic, which will make it hard to get good results from your campaigns.

Can your designer do much about that? Probably not.


As good as your designer (or other marketer) might be, having a limited number of marketing skills on staff will keep you from getting the online marketing results you want.

This is one area where a good marketing agency truly shines. Your business might not be able to pay for a designer and a PPC expert and a testing guru and a… you get the idea. But for an agency, it makes a lot of sense to hire people with a diversity of online marketing skills.

At Disruptive, my employer, for example, we organize our account managers into marketing teams that have a wide range of specialties: site testing, design, Facebook, AdWords and so on. Each member is great at what they do, and having them in a team allows them to adapt to the needs of whichever client they’re working on, giving the team far more value than any single person — and more social skills.

In addition, each member of the team actively works on multiple accounts, giving them a breadth and depth of experience that can be applied to new campaigns and situations with ease.

Is diversity worth paying for?

The question is, doesn’t all that diversity come with a stiff price tag? I mean, if you can’t afford to hire more people in-house for diversity, can you afford to pay an agency to do it?

To put it simply, yes, but let’s take a deeper look at things.

Most companies won’t need a full-time AdWords expert, designer and Facebook manager — but they would definitely benefit from all of those services.

When you’re hiring in-house, finding experts in any of these fields who are willing to work for just a few hours a week will be tough. Agencies, on the other hand, can hire experts to manage multiple accounts, giving them enough work to justify their full-time employment and give their expertise to any given account that needs it.

As a result, working with an agency gives you access to a variety of high-level experts without needing to hire them full-time, which is more economical than hiring those experts yourself.

Agency vs. in-house

So, agency vs in-house… which would be better for your business? Ultimately, this is a question of resources.

Larger companies may be able to make the investment to hire in-house and diversify their marketing. If your marketing needs are significant enough to justify hiring a team of experts who are dedicated, you might get good results from hiring in-house to work on that channel full-time.

However, if your business doesn’t have the funds to pull this off, you’ll get more diversity for less by using an agency.

2. Predictability

Great online marketers are incredibly creative, but that same creativity makes them deathly allergic to boredom. And can you blame them? Think about staring at the same set of keywords set day in and day out, while being expected to make them interesting. Exciting, right?


This is part of the reason why a lot of junior- to mid-level marketers will end up changing their jobs every two to three years. It keeps them sane, but it might drive the businesses they work for a little up the wall. In fact, at Disruptive, we’ve had quite a few clients leave us for a new internal hire only to come back when that person leaves for something new.

Turnover for online marketers often isn’t nearly this bad at an agency. At an agency, online marketers can work with a variety of businesses where they’re challenged more and get to be more creative.

And if your point of contact does leave the agency, at a good agency you should have several good people involved on your account. As a result, your online marketing won’t have to suffer while you wait for someone to get up to speed on your business.

Agency vs. in-house

If you don’t have to worry about employee turnover, hiring your own marketing team can work out great. You can see this at big businesses that have a lot of challenges and opportunities to offer their employees.

On the other hand, employee turnover is a common problem in smaller businesses. Employees might be seeking more in the way of compensation and variety, so they are more likely to leave.

However, in either case, hiring in-house is kind of like putting all of your eggs in one basket; if the basket’s big enough to adequately keep your eggs from rolling out, that’s great. But, if your basket’s on the smaller side and losing one or two eggs would cause major problems for your marketing, you might be better off with an agency.

3. Partner perks

The majority of businesses don’t spend enough money on any online advertising platform to really catch that platform’s eye. Even spending $200,000 a year on AdWords likely won’t show up on Google’s radar.

Crazy, right? But hey, they’re Google.

Still, even Google cares when there are millions of dollars at play. Advertising agencies often manage many millions of dollars in monthly ad spend on Google AdWords, Bing Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and beyond. As a result, advertising platforms have a vested interest in the success of an agency and are willing to work to help them deliver the best results possible to clients.

Think about it. If Disruptive decided that AdWords was a waste and recommended our clients give up on it, Google would have a lot to lose.

That’s why agencies will often get a lot of perks that most businesses won’t — and they can pass those perks onto their clients.

Here are some of the perks of working with an agency:

  • Quicker support. If you’ve tried to talk about account problems with Google or Facebook, you know it can be hard to get your needs addressed. An agency, however, can quickly get real people on the phone to help with irregularities in accounts, policy concerns and any number of support items.
  • Earlier access to new advertising options. Agencies can often get their clients new marketing options before public access. Remember RSLA campaigns, extended headlines, Gmail sponsored promos and so on? Yep, most agencies were able to get their clients early access to those options.
  • Further account supervision. Ad platforms want agencies to succeed. To help with that, they’ll assign their own top people to watch an agency’s managed accounts and make sure the accounts are getting the right amount of attention. Additionally, these reps will add their insight and ideas they get from internal data that the general public won’t be able to get to.

Good agencies have lots of advantages that the general public just can’t get. These perks can give you a real leg up on the competition. On top of that, online marketing agencies will often have partnerships with other marketing companies that will allow them to offer additional premium services and discounts to their clients that they may not be able to access otherwise.

Agency vs. in-house

If you’re not Amazon or Walmart, you might not be getting the same attention that ad agencies receive from ad platforms. That doesn’t mean you won’t be successful, but it does mean it won’t be as easy. What really matters is how important those perks are to your company and what sort of competitive advantage they can give you.


There are a lot of reasons people will choose an agency or do things in-house. Either way can work, but which route you choose will depend on where your priorities lie.

But if you’re looking for skill diversification, reliability and partner perks, choosing an agency might be the better way to grow your business.

You’ve heard my two cents; now it’s your turn.

Do you use an agency? Do you do things in-house? What was the main reason for that decision? Do you have any advantages or disadvantages to agencies that you’d add?

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Jacob Baadsgaard

The post Is in-house marketing better than using an agency? appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


How Google is tackling fake news, and why it should not do it alone


Fact-checking and preventing fake news from appearing in search results will remain a big priority for search engines in 2017.

Following the US election and Brexit, increased focus is being placed on how social networks and search engines can avoid showing “fake news” to users. However, this is a battle that search engines cannot — and more fundamentally, should not — fight alone.

With search engines providing a key way people consume information, it is obviously problematic if they can both decide what the truth is and label content as the truth. This power might not be abused now, but there is no guarantee of the safe governance of such organizations in the future.

Here are five key ways Google can deal (or already is dealing) with fake news right now. They are:

  1. Manually reviewing websites
  2. Algorithmically demoting fake news
  3. Removing incentives to create fake news
  4. Signaling when content has been fact-checked
  5. Funding fact-checking organizations

1. Manually reviewing websites

Google does have the power to determine who does and does not appear in their various listings. To appear in Google News, publishers must meet Google’s guidelines, then apply for inclusion and submit to a manual review. This is not the case with the content that appears in traditional organic listings.

Understanding how each part of the search results is populated, and the requirements for inclusion, can be confusing. It’s a common misconception that the content within the “In the news” box is Google News content. It’s not. It may include content from Google News, but after a change in 2014, this box can pull in content from traditional search listings as well.

In the News

“In the news” appears at the top of the page for certain queries and includes stories that have been approved for inclusion in Google News (shown above) as well as other, non-vetted stories from across the web.

That’s why Google was criticized last week for showing a fake news story that reported a popular vote win for Trump. The fake story appeared in the “In the news” box, despite not being Google News (so it was not manually reviewed).

There needs to be better transparency about what content constitutes Google News results and what doesn’t. Labeling something as “news” may give it increased credibility for users, when in reality it hasn’t undergone any manual review.

Google will likely avoid changing the carousel to a pure Google News product, as this may create concerns with news outlets that Google is monetizing the traffic they believe is being “stolen” from them. Unless Google removes any ads appearing against organic listings when a news universal result appears, Google has to make this carousel an aggregation of the net.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet at time of writing, but there is speculation that Google is planning to reduce the ambiguity of the “In the news” listings by replacing it with “Top stories” (as seen in its mobile search results). Like content from the “In the news” box, these listings have been a mashup of Google News and normal search listings, with the common trait being that these pages are AMP-enabled.

Top Stories Screenshot

“Top stories” consists of AMP web pages.

In my opinion, “Top stories” still implies an element of curation, so perhaps something like “Popular stories from across the web” may work better.

Manual review isn’t viable for the entire web, but it’s a start that items from Google News publishers are manually reviewed before inclusion. The opportunity here is to be more transparent about where content has been reviewed and where it hasn’t.

2. Algorithmically demoting fake news

Traditionally, search engines have indirectly dealt with fake news through showing users the most authoritative search results. The assumption is that domains with higher authority and trust will be less likely to report fake news.

It’s another debate whether “authority” publications actually report on the truth, of course. But the majority of their content is truthful, and this helps to ensure fake news is less likely to appear in search results.

The problem is, the very ranking signals search engines use to determine authority can elevate fake news sites when their content goes viral and becomes popular. That is why, in the above example, the fake news performed well in search results.

Google’s ability to algorithmically determine “facts” has been called into doubt. Last week, Danny Sullivan on Marketing Land gave several case studies where Google gets it wrong (sometimes comically) and outlines some of the challenges of algorithmically determining the truth based on the internet.

Google has denied that TrustRank exists, but perhaps we’ll see the introduction of a “TruthRank.” There will be a series of “truth beacons,” in the same way the TrustRank patent outlines. A score could be appended based on the number of citations against truth-checking services.

3. Removing the incentive to create fake news

There are two main goals for creating fake news websites: money and influence. Google not only needs to prevent this material from appearing in search results but also needs to play a role in restricting the financial incentive to do it in the first place.

Google AdSense is one of the largest ad networks, and it was one of the largest sources of income for authors creating fake news. One author of fake news around the US election was reportedly making $10,000 per month.

Earlier this month, both Facebook and Google banned fake news sites from utilizing their ad networks. This is a massive step forward and one that should make a big difference. There are other ad networks, but they will have smaller inventory and should receive pressure to follow suit.

A Google spokesperson said:

“Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content or the primary purpose of the web property.”

Google can do little to reduce the incentive to create fake news for the purpose of political influence. If the effectiveness of producing fake news is reduced, and it culturally becomes unacceptable, it is less likely it would be used by political organizations and individuals.

4. Signaling when content has been fact-checked

In October, Google introduced a “Fact Check” label for stories in Google News, their objective being “to shine a light on [the fact-checking community’s] efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin.” The label now appears alongside previously existing labels such as “opinion,” “local source” and “highly cited.”

Fact-checking sites that meet Google’s criteria can apply to have their services be included, and publishers can reference sources using the Claim Review Schema.

The kind of populism politics that has surfaced in both America and the UK is cynical of the establishment, and this cynicism could very easily extend to any fact-checking organization(s).

Trump has claimed the media is biased, specifically calling out sources such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Any attack from influential people on the fact-checking organizations could quickly undermine their credibility in the eyes of populists. It needs to be communicated clearly that the facts are not defined by Google and that they are from neutral, objective sources.

Fact check label

Google has introduced a new “Fact Check” label.

These labels only apply to Google News, but it will be interesting to see if and how Google can expand it to the main index.

 5. Funding fact-checking organizations

Of course, Google should not be defining what the truth is. Having the power to both define veracity and present it back to society concentrates power that could be abused in the future.

Google, therefore, has a large dependency on other organizations to do this task — and a large interest in seeing it happen. The smart thing Google has done is to fund such organizations, and this month it has given €150,000 to three UK organizations working on fact-checking projects (plus others elsewhere in the world).

One of the UK organizations is Full Fact. Full Fact is working on the first fully automated fact-checking tool, which will lend scalability to the efforts of journalists and media companies.

Full Fact caps the amount of donations they can receive from any one organization to 15 percent to avoid commercial interests and preserve objectivity. This is the counter-argument to any cynics suggesting Google’s donation isn’t large enough and doesn’t represent the size of the task.

Google needs accurate sources of information to present back to users, and funding fact-checking organizations will accelerate progress.

To wrap up

Casting aside all of the challenges Google faces, there are deep-rooted issues in defining what constitutes the truth, the parameters of truth that are acceptable and the governance of representing it back to society.

For Google to appear to be objective in their representation of truth, they need to avoid getting involved in defining it. They have a massive interest in this, though, and that’s the reason they have invested money into various fact-checking services.

Over the past decade, it’s possible to point to where the main focus of search engines has been, e.g., content or links. Going forward, I think we will see fact-checking and the tackling of fake news as high a priority as any other.

Google needs to act as a conduit between the user and the truth — and not define it.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Ian Bowden

The post How Google is tackling fake news, and why it should not do it alone appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


‘Beacons are dead,’ says CEO of a retail analytics firm

An assortment of beacons from (starting upper left) Gimbal,, Estimote, Radius Networks, GPShopper, Aruba

An assortment of beacons from (starting upper left) Gimbal,, Estimote, Radius Networks, GPShopper, Aruba

“Beacons are already dead.”

That’s what Euclid Analytics’ CEO Brent Franson thinks. His company provides engagement and analytics solutions to retailers and, he told me, his firm is happy to work with beacons.

If they did something customers really wanted.

Beacons offer hyper-granular marketing directed at customers standing in specific spots in stores, like in front of counter 2B. The idea has been that retailers could then direct product info or a discount coupon about the socks on counter 2B to that customer’s smartphone, standing right there.

But, Franson told me, the reality if different for retailer-focused beacons. (There are, of course, use cases for beacons outside of retailers.)

First, it’s a significant amount of effort for that scenario to take place. The beacons must be installed and maintained, and fleet maintenance is sometimes problematic, because the devices use short-range Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. Some vendors integrate WiFi with their beacons, or have other workaround solutions, but those alternatives aren’t standard.

Then there’s the issue that, for standard beacons, the consumer needs to download a supported app. Some retailers share an app, but it’s still a download. Google offers Eddystone beacons, which broadcast a URL to a compatible browser and don’t need an app, but you need the right browser. And, at the moment, Eddystone is not widely deployed.

But the real reason Franson is bearish on beacons has to do with consumers’ current shopping habits.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Author: Barry Levine

The post ‘Beacons are dead,’ says CEO of a retail analytics firm appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Size matters: 5 tips for creating LEAN programmatic creative


Advertisers and publishers have no choice but to go “LEAN” — lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices-supported and non-invasive.

Why? There’s the recent founding of the Coalition for Better Ads and the updates to the IAB LEAN standards. There’s ad blocking and the fact that people don’t want to use their mobile data for advertisements. There’s Google announcing it will begin to enforce new policies, starting in January 2017, in which publishers using ad formats that interfere with the user experience, such as pop-ups and standalone interstitials, will be penalized with lower Google rankings. Plus, Google charges advertisers more for serving “heavy” ads.

Speeding up load time doesn’t just improve the ad experience for consumers — it dramatically affects ad viewability, according to new research from Thunder, a programmatic creative platform (disclosure: my company).

The data show that the lightest ads have the highest viewability, at 52 percent to 70 percent. In ads under 50KB, there is a 3 percent drop in view rates for each 10KB after the initial 10KB. That is followed by a 0.5 to 1 percent drop in view rate per extra 10KB beyond that. Average viewability bottoms out at around 25 percent in the 150–200KB range — the IAB recommended maximum.

All of this has created an emphasis on creating consumer-friendly ads with lighter file load sizes and fewer server calls. Programmatic advertising now accounts for more than two-thirds of all digital display ad spending in the US, but since it calls for multiple ad versions, creative best practices aren’t as widely known or easily executed.

Here are five tips for creating effective LEAN ads, particularly for programmatic creative executions.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Victor Wong

The post Size matters: 5 tips for creating LEAN programmatic creative appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Return Path buys email deliverability specialist Email Copilot


For email service providers (ESP), getting the email delivered to an inbox is the central metric.

To help boost these capabilities, New York City-based ESP Return Path announced this week it has purchased San Diego, California-based Email Copilot. Return Path sees itself as a leader in deliverability, and offers a Deliverability Benchmark report.

The Copilot, founded in 2011, provides real-time monitoring, reporting, and analysis of deliverability info, presented as a “dynamic visualization.” Terms of the deal were not announced.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Author: Barry Levine

The post Return Path buys email deliverability specialist Email Copilot appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Removing duplicates in Yext: still a hands-on process


A recent case study by Yext shows the impact of duplicate listings on local rankings in Google. Coordinated by local search expert Andrew Shotland, the core research evaluates Yext duplicate suppression for a national restaurant chain.

I’m not here to dispute the research or results. Having consistent NAP (name, address and phone number) has long been regarded as a priority for local businesses. However, there are limitations to using Yext for finding and removing duplicates.

Launched in June of 2014, duplicate listing suppression has been a selling point for the Yext platform. Different from deletion, suppression redirects search engines and customers to the correct information on a particular website. The suppression happens as long as a client or the agency is a paid subscriber to Yext.

Full disclosure: I am Yext-certified and currently manage 60 unique clients in Yext. It is a powerful platform and useful for scaling citation management. Yet when it comes to duplicate suppression, there are many areas where Yext can improve.

The platform isn’t created to find all duplicates

Doing a Yext Scan is a fun way to show clients all the issues with their local listings. But it isn’t set up to show multiple duplicates for a single citation, and it includes only 53 sites. It appears to me that Yext cherry-picks to create a report with the goal of showing as many mistakes as possible.

Once client details are added to Location Manager and PowerListings have started to sync, Yext will crawl online for duplicates. The possible duplicates tab are those Yext has automatically found in their network.

duplicate listings

The platform does look for name, address and phone duplicates, although it isn’t comprehensive. Yext especially has difficulties where a business name has changed or is using multiple assumed names. Data where only the phone or only the address is a match to a duplicate business are frequently missed.

A user of Yext can also submit duplicates through the platform, which is a common occurrence. Yext requires a URL of the duplicate, but what happens next is where the platform could really be improved.

remove duplicates yext

Not all duplicates can be suppressed

A client of mine had two duplicates in CitySearch, which Yext didn’t find and required manual submission. A month later, the duplicates were still not flagged in the system.

Sometimes, Yext reveals which duplicates are being processed, and other times it doesn’t. Even worse, it can sometimes tell you a duplicate is being suppressed when it isn’t. For the same client, two duplicates in Superpages were shown in Yext as being suppressed. However, these listings were still live on Superpages and being crawled by Google.

suppression error

Another option is to submit duplicates to Yext support. Below is a quote from a support agent, on my request to remove duplicates for a client that purchased a previously used phone number.

“The listings that only match the phone number do not follow our 2/3 guidelines. We are not able to submit another business’ listing for suppression. It is the responsibility of that business to correct the phone number on their listings if they are no longer using it.”

Yext does not suppress at the source

Not all local citations are included in the Yext PowerListings Network. Even sites in the network, such as Factual, don’t allow for duplicate suppression. A user is still required to submit a manual duplicate ticket for Factual.

In addition to Factual, data aggregators Express Update/InfoUSA, Neustar Localeze, Axciom and Dun & Bradstreet are excluded from the Yext network. These are often the source of duplicates in Yext and many other sites online.

An SEO consultant should still catalog correct and incorrect NAP in a spreadsheet and check Google and important citations for more duplicates. Moz Local can be used to scan data aggregators.

Yext could be pushing incorrect data

It doesn’t happen as often, but there are some scenarios where Yext could be pushing duplicate and inaccurate data.

The first is not having access to an existing Yext account. An existing PowerListing subscription could be sending incorrect data. You will not be able to add a location to a second Yext account until it is removed from the original.

For removal, Yext tends to require permission from the account owner. I have been unsuccessful at this in a few cases. One was for an HVAC client partnered with Lennox, which automatically subscribes all authorized dealers to a PowerListings subscription. Unfortunately, Lennox required that a tracking phone number and their own landing page be published in place of the client’s local number and website.

The second scenario is NAP accuracy. Yext has some checks on the data entered in Location Manager, but it doesn’t check against a business license or a registered office address. In a recent test, I was able to add a company twice to the PowerListings Network, but with a different phone number.

Despite these flaws, Yext is still in my arsenal for local listing management. If you choose to use Yext to suppress duplicates, understand the strengths and gaps in using the platform to do so.

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Author: Corey Barnett

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