Over a series of blog posts in the coming weeks, I want to explore some of the basics of exactly How Yext Works. As a newcomer to Yext, my interest in outlining this is two-fold. First, I hope to define some basics about PowerListings that I have learned since arriving at Yext, and second, these posts may serve as a primer by which future discussions and debates may be had about how fundamentally different the location data ecosystem is and how businesses should best navigate.
When a business or brand purchases a PowerListings subscription, the first thing that occurs is the Match and Lock. Both are absolutely critical steps in the creation of a PowerListing.
The Match process is exactly as it sounds and happens the moment the initial name, address, phone number data (NAP) and other information for the business location is entered into the Yext dashboard. The following diagram is certainly not meant to be exhaustive or too detailed, but it gives us a simple framework to reference.
All match systems have similarities, but all are unique in how and what they match against. Without going into the complexities, it is important to point out that this algorithmic process is a science unto itself, and will continue to evolve industry-wide. We will later discuss these algorithms and their place in data compilation strategies in a subsequent post.
In the diagram above, all of the normalization and match processes are unique to Yext, but it is the thick blue lines that repeat the various matches across the PowerListings network that truly differentiate the Yext Match and Lock process. When Yext doesn’t find a match to a current client, we then proceed to run a match against every PowerListing Publisher partner in the network to identify the business listings that match. This happens through a custom integration point with each Partner and is not a scraping mechanism common to other platforms. In other words, as Yext attempts to find a match or not, our PowerListing is connecting to the actual database and unique IDs at each PowerListing Publisher. Which makes the next step, which is even more unique to Yext, possible.
The Lock process occurs when Yext identifies a business listing match at a PowerListing Publisher site. The Lock is completely unique to Yext, as all other data suppliers, aggregators, and even direct submissions from business owners do not “Lock” the listing from being changed or altered. Yext takes control of the business listing at each PowerListing Publisher and is no longer subject to changes from hundreds or even thousands of other sources. You can read about those sources in our explanation of the “normal compilation process”. While its a complex process, you can relax in knowing that for the most part, you only see the benefits and results in the screenshot below showing how my business listing has been “PowerListings Synced” across the entire Publisher network.
Remember, the Lock is one of the key features of a PowerListing. It’s what enables our clients to have total control over their business listing data across the PowerListings Publisher network. It’s where citations come from and it’s how our dual-sync technology enables our clients and partners to solve the massive issues facing business listing data inaccuracies while also creating the opportunities that come with content rich business listings across the world’s top publisher sites, search engines and mobile apps. More on that in our second post on How Yext Works: Dual-Sync.