Category Archives: Uncategorized

Finding Local Love: A Tale of Two Robots

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we decided to share a beautiful love story that’s blossoming at Yext.

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As the best love stories do, it all started on Tinder. Boy Robot took a break from his hectic work day to do some swiping.

Tinder-2

He stumbled upon this profile and liked what he saw. They set up a date to meet at a great local spot, The Snack Kitchen.

Girl-Robot-TinderBoy Robot headed to The Snack Kitchen, but when he arrived his lady friend was nowhere to be found!

Reg-Kitchen

Boy Robot checked into Foursquare and discovered that there was incorrect geodata, and that the Girl Robot had accidentally gone to The Engineering Snack Kitchen on the other side of the office.

Robot Eng Kitchen

He raced off to catch her before it was too late!

Robot-Movie-3

They ran into each other in the hallway and hit it off immediately.

 RobotLove2

Time flew by and before they knew it, they were sneaking off to the Nap Pod for some “alone time.”

 Nap-Pod

 Don’t let bad geodata keep you from finding love! Happy Valentine’s Day from Yext.

There’s No Such Thing as a “Permanent” Local Data Record

A common misperception in the local search and data industry is that publishers have a single “permanent” or “master” record for a given business listing.  The misconception goes deeper: many people think that claiming a business causes a publisher to update a permanent record for that listing.

However, if publishers have a single permanent record, how come so many people have problems updating listings?  It’s because there’s actually no master record.

Publishers consider many different signals and sources when deciding which information to show in their experiences for a particular business.  Claims are just one source of many.

Let’s take a look at how local data works at most of the world’s major publishers.  It’s actually pretty complicated.

We’ll start with a simple example of a fictional local search publisher called Bingo that uses 5 local data sources: an aggregator, a government data file, results from crawling the web, claims, and consumer signal.

Source
Aggregator
Government Data File
Web Crawl Results
Claims
Consumer Signal

Bingo stores all the local data from each of these 5 sources.  For each data element, the sources are ranked by “trust”.  Here are Bingo’s rankings for 5 elements: Name, Address, Phone, Web Site, and whether the business still exists:

Source Name Address Phone Web Site Open
Aggregator 5 2 3 4 4
Government Data File 4 3 1 2 3
Web Crawl Results 3 4 2 3 5
Claims 1 1 5 1 2
Consumer Signal 2 5 4 4 1

Periodically – let’s say weekly – Bingo runs a process to conflate these 5 sources to build a current “view”.  That is, the local data file that actually appears on their live site.

Let’s say the conflation process is running to decide what info to show for a local business called PizzaLand.

Here’s the data that’s contained in each source about PizzaLand:

Source PizzaLand
Aggregator PizzaLand
212-123-0000
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
www.pizzaland.com
Gov’t Data File Pizzaland, Inc
44 Broad Street Suite #75
New York, NY 10011
212-123-0000
Incorporation Date: 4/30/2013
Web Crawl Results PizzaLand
800-321-1234
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
www.pizzaland.com
Claims PizzaLand
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
888-331-3110
www.pizzaland.com
Claim date: 5/14/13
Consumer Signal 1 user marked business as closed on 5/17/13

The bolded elements are those that are ranked highest and will therefore show in the next generated view.

(Side note: To simplify the illustration, I’ve skipped the first step, which is to actually match up the PizzaLand locations across each source.   This is actually super hard!  What if there’s no consistency identifying elements across sources to match them up?  Or what if there are multiple PizzaLand locations in a source?  Entire companies like Locationary have built sophisticated matching technology to handle this.)

Assuming Bingo’s algorithm can actually match up these locations correctly, the next challenge: which data sources do they choose to actually show in the view on their live site?

Most publishers use a ranking algorithm that includes factors like source quality and recency of update to determine which fields to show.  Typically this happens at the element level – so a phone number could come from one listing, whereas an address from another.

In this case, Bingo ranks claims that have occurred in the past 3 months as the trusted source for name and address, but since a lot of businesses use tracked phone numbers in their claim (which Bingo tries to avoid), they rank the government source highest for phone number.

But, a consumer marked it as closed!  Should Bingo trust a single consumer?  Maybe it’s PizzaLand’s arch nemesis down the street who marketed it as closed.   Bingo’s algo does not consider if a single user vote is sufficient to mark a location as closed.

So the final output in the view might look something like:

PizzaLand
44 Broad Street
New York NY
212-123-0000
www.pizzaland.com

As data in the sources change, or Bingo tweaks their trust rank, whenever Bingo runs their process, the info that appears in the live view changes as well.

A great advantage of this approach for a publisher is that they can easily pull in new sources (or remove sources) and rebuild their view without an archeological dig.

But the key point is that “claims” are not the permanent record.  They are just another source of many, often ranked highly in the beginning, but losing trust quickly over time.  Claims are a tricky business for publishers.  Many of them come from brand new businesses.  Brand new businesses fail at an astounding high rate.  And how many of them notify publishers when they close?  Basically none.  So, for publishers, claims are a double-edged sword.  Primarily, they are used as a lead generation source for their local sales efforts.

Furthermore, this is a vastly oversimplified example.  In the real world, publishers take in hundreds of sources.  They deal with many duplicate listings.  They deal with closed locations.  They deal with fake claims.  They deal with constantly changing data.  They re-rank sources.

Simply put, the entire process is a mess, which is why we invented Yext – an overlay on top of the madness.

An Overlay isn’t a Problem.  It’s the Solution.

Yext is not a permanent solution” or “Yext is just an overlay”, critics say.   These critics are 100% correct about one thing – Yext is an overlay.  But this is by design. A trusted overlay is exactly how you solve the madness.

Historically, to manage a business’s local data, experts have advocated a “spray and pray” approach.  The strategy behind this approach is that, since the public has no real idea which sources any given publisher uses, and no idea how those sources are ranked, the best idea is to simply “spray” your local data to every known aggregator, update your web site, claim your business, file with all gov’t agencies, etc.  Then you “pray” that you guessed every source a publisher uses, that their matching process works, and there is no idiosyncrasy that causes your listings to show wrong data.

But with an estimated 20% of searches returning wrong data, and numerous complaints rampant throughout the industry, it’s pretty obvious there’s a huge problem here.

For clarity, I do not fault the experts for advocating this approach.  In the past, it has been the only logical approach.  But Yext has invented a better way: an overlay.

Going back to our prior example, let’s say Bingo is in the Yext PowerListings Network and accepts local data from the Yext Cloud.  And PizzaLand signs up for a PowerListings subscription.

As an overlay, the Yext data source is ranked highest for every element.  It short-circuits the rest of Bingo’s process.  Here’s the rank by element:

Source Name Address Phone Web Site Open
Yext 1 1 1 1 1
Aggregator 6 3 4 5 5
Gov’t Data File 5 4 2 3 4
Web Crawl Results 4 5 3 4 6
Claims 2 2 6 2 3
Consumer Signal 3 6 5 5 2

Here’s how the data from Yext looks in their Bingo’s source database waiting for their next build:

Source PizzaLand Location
Yext PizzaLand
212-123-0000
www.pizzaland.com
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
www.pizzaland.com
Aggregator PizzaLand
212-123-0000
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
www.pizzaland.com
Gov’t Data File Pizzaland, Inc
44 Broad Street Suite #75
New York, NY 10011
212-123-0000
Incorporation Date: 4/30/2013
Web Crawl Results PizzaLand
800-321-1234
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
www.pizzaland.com
Claims PizzaLand
44 Broad Street
New York, NY 10011
888-331-3110
www.pizzaland.com
Claim date: 5/14/13
Consumer Signal 1 user marked business as closed on 5/17/13

When it’s time for Bingo to work on the PizzaLand location, since PizzaLand appears in the Yext source, and Yext has the highest trust for every element, all the data Yext supplies shows up in the view.  It doesn’t matter if the data is present or not in the other sources.  It doesn’t matter if Bingo didn’t match up PizzaLand’s locations correctly when running their local data build.  It doesn’t matter if a rogue consumer marks something as closed.  PizzaLand’s data in Yext shows up in the live view.

The overlay approach wins.  The “spray and pray” approach is not necessary because as long as the business maintains an active subscription with Yext, the data in the other sources is not important.

When a business leaves Yext, we don’t delete their listing.  They are simply no longer active in our cloud and so the overlay no longer short-circuits a publisher’s data compilation process.  It’s back to the “spray-and-pray” approach.  With few exceptions, usually whatever was happening before starts happening again.

An Active Subscriptions Proves Existence and Ownership

We created Yext to put businesses in control of their own data, give publishers a trusted source of local data, and to get users the right data in their local searches.

The authoritative objective data about a business is known by the business itself.  So, the key for a publisher is to make sure the business actually is real (existence) and that they are receiving information about a business from the authoritative source (ownership).

The best way to knock out both of these goals is with an active, paid subscription from the business itself or an agent of the business.  A reasonable, ongoing paid subscription proves continued existence of a business.  It proves ownership.  It eliminates fraud.

A “claim”, even when properly validated, is insufficient to solve the existence and ownership problem.  It solves the problem at the exact point in time when the claim is completed.  But what happens if the business changes owners?  Or moves completely?  Or runs out of business – which a huge percentage of claims do.

I’m not trying to make a moral argument that businesses should have to pay for their listings.  Rather, I’m saying that an ongoing subscription fee to keep listings updated solves a huge structural problem in the industry by proving continued existence and ownership.

Conclusions

Publishers don’t have a master database of locations.  Typically, they pull in hundreds of sources, which they store.  They try to match locations across sources, rank sources at the element level, and periodically rebuild their dataset for their live search based on their trust levels.  Claims are not a permanent record.  They are just one source among many.

Any listings management requires ongoing work.  Whether you do it manually or use Yext (or some combination of both), an active effort is required to keep ongoing existence and ownership of the business locations you’re managing.

I will leave you with a controversial idea: I actually think Google could solve a lot of their problems by implementing a similar program to the Yext Cloud and charging a reasonable monthly amount for businesses who wish to directly control their data.  Who wouldn’t want to pay Google a bit every month to guarantee that their listings were up to date?  If a user reported something different, this could initiate a challenge for the business to respond to.

In this way, businesses would have control, Google would have continued proof of existence and ownership, and most importantly, end users would always find the right info.

How Yext Works – Part 4: Real-Time

Wrapping up our four part series on How Yext Works, we now turn our attention toward the nature of real-time data updates, the value they present to every business, and how Yext’s solution is completely unique in this ability. Thus far, we have covered the Match and Lock process of a PowerListing, how Yext’s Dual-Sync technology works, and what happens to NAP and business listings without Yext. Today we are going to look at the real-time nature of Yext PowerListings and what that means to businesses. We often get questions on how valuable real-time data is or is not, and it’s an important topic to discuss when trying to understand the value of Yext.

Yext’s PowerListings service is a real-time service. When a change is made inside of the Yext platform to a business listing or the enhanced content around products, services, menus and more, those changes are available instantly through the Dual-Sync technology between Yext and each publisher on the PowerListings network.

Is patience always a virtue?

There is an old saying that “patience is a virtue”, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like one. Additionally, I can’t remember the last time I was ever pleased to hear something would actually take longer in business, and I certainly haven’t had a client in any memory say, “Wow, thanks!” when I told them that a request was going to take 2 months verse 2 minutes. For some perspective, let’s look at the typical time process for submitting data through data aggregators or publisher sites verse controlling your data through Yext PowerListings.

Part4

A comparison of real-time control of Yext PowerListings verse submission of data to the normal compilation process at data aggregators and publishers

While this diagram is for illustrative purposes only, and it certainly doesn’t cover all the details at each data aggregator or publisher, it is meant to show a typical process that may be employed to take NAP business listing data and get it properly and perfectly listed across the web. The ranges of time that it takes to get a business listing through each data aggregator or publisher varies widely, but it is safe to say it can take months as documented on Mike Blumenthal’s post, “Citations – Time to Live”. But, honestly, that doesn’t really even highlight the biggest time burden or problem facing a business trying to solve business listings issues.

At the bottom of the diagram, you will notice a large “MAYBE” next to a large “YES”, and herein lies the biggest differences between submitting data over vast amounts of time and controlling your business listing information through Yext PowerListings. No matter when or how often you submit your data through other pathways, the ultimate answer is that “MAYBE” this will correct, replace, update, or change your business listing data. This issue is well documented territory covered by Andrew Shotland and Greg Sterling and also through our Yext Quarterly publication. Data submission must continuously be made, because at any point in a data aggregator or publisher or search engine’s normal compilation process, your business listing information can (and probably will) be overwritten. This situation means that you must resubmit your information and hope that maybe it will eventually update the end publications or presentations of your business listing online.

Now that we’ve covered why not having Real-Time control over your data is severely problematic, let’s turn our attention briefly to how wonderful having Real-Time control over business listing and enhanced content really is.

Through the Real-Time control of your data provided by Yext PowerListings you can:

  • Add new products, services, and menu updates instantly

  • Change your hours of operation mid-day to take the afternoon off and let the world know about it across the web

  • Offer everyone on the planet a free smoothie with their lunch order for the next 15 minutes, and 15 minutes only

  • Capture a great new client experience or completed project and share it instantly across the web and on Facebook

  • Even officially declare the opening of your new business location by cutting the ribbon on the front door and hitting “submit” on your new PowerListing simultaneously

The bottom line is that Real-Time data control is of paramount importance to business listing information and, more importantly, the businesses they represent. This reliance on Real-Time will only grow over the coming months and years as more and more customers will come to expect that your information is up to date, accurate, and everywhere. With Yext, the Dual-Sync integrations across the PowerListings Network combined with the Match and Lock process ensure that businesses are in control of their information at all times, in Real-Time.

How Yext Works – Part 2: Without Yext

This part of our series on How Yext Works is about what happens to business listings and information either without Yext or after someone has elected to not renew their Yext subscription. Having not been at Yext very long, this was one of my biggest questions and, frankly, misconceptions upon my arrival. Looking at many blog posts and comments out there, I am clearly not alone. So let’s discuss the (unthinkable) scenario of what happens after Yext PowerListings are turned off, which also provides some insight into what happens to all business listing data without Yext.

As we covered in the first installment of this series, Yext PowerListings give control of business listings to business owners and professional marketers through a process called Match and Lock.

But what happens when the PowerListings subscription is not renewed?

Does the business listing data get deleted by Yext at each publisher?  Does Yext take down the Name, Address, Phone (NAP) from each of the sites and search engines? Does the business’s online presence disappear? Lastly, does Yext put the old data back that used to be wrong?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding and emphatic, NO!

The simple answer to each of these questions is that effectively, the Lock comes off. What that means is that the NAP is not deleted or removed by Yext, but the Lock that was put in place to protect the business listing is no longer present. Once this occurs, the business listing is subject to the normal compilation process at the search engine, online directory, mobile app, or social network. In fact, because Yext no longer has this lock in place, Yext has no control over the listing directly at all, and the business listing data will now act as it normally would occur without Yext.

Further, when a PowerListing becomes inactive, the enhanced content (photos, menus, hours of operation, products, biographies, featured messages, and more) that was connected to the business listing ceases to be available. This situation happens because the Lock that provides the Dual-Sync technology that delivers this enhanced content is the same Lock that protects the PowerListing, and it is no longer connected. In reality, this content is still available on the Yext platform, but it can no longer be accessed because the Lock came off of the business listing and that connection has been severed.

Now, for the more detailed answer of why the NAP and other data changes quickly following the cancellation of a PowerListing, I pulled together a diagram to outline some of the many differences and disparate data sources at work behind a “normal compilation process” at a data aggregator, publisher, or search engine. “Normal compilation” is something of a misnomer as there isn’t really anything normal about it. From Publisher to search engine to mobile app to directory site, each utilizes a different method to match, merge, and select the NAP data it will choose to display. This process is what occurs without Yext everyday, and it only ceases to be the norm when a Yext PowerListing Lock is in place.

A detailed comparison of normal compilation vs the control provided by Yext PowerListings.

A detailed comparison of normal compilation vs the control provided by Yext PowerListings.

Looking at the diagram, a business or professional marketer can always choose between Yext and the normal compilation process. If they choose to utilize Yext, the Lock put in place will protect the business listing and ensure perfect NAP (and enhanced content) at all the PowerListing network publishers. If, at some point, the business or professional marketer chooses to not renew their Yext subscription, the Lock simply comes off, and their data is now subject to the normal compilation process. Without Yext, there are now hundreds or thousands of competing data sources fighting for control over what NAP data is displayed.

From there, each of the 50+ publishers, search engines, website directories and mobile app platforms, as well as several data aggregators, will need to each be sent owner claims and submissions of business listing data. You as the owner of the business or professional marketer representing them will need to make these submissions, repeatedly. Remember, this isn’t any different than if you attempted to claim and maintain perfect NAP information without Yext at every one of the Publishers in the PowerListings network.

One last, very important point on this topic. There is no permanent solution to business listing data staying correct or in control of a business or professional marketer without maintaining the Lock from PowerListings. Either a business must continue to submit their data to each and every one of the normal compilation processes repeatedly, or they can utilize a manual service to do so. Every compilation platform will make mistakes, overwrite key data points, and occasionally accept wrong or false data as they are not the business owner or the professional marketer whose livelihood depends on this information being correct and perfect at all times in all places. Further, submission is no guarantee that the data will be updated, accepted, corrected, or even created.

Remember, this is in no way the fault of the publishers, search engines, data aggregators or even the businesses and professional marketers trying to correct the data. Getting perfect location information (and hopefully enhanced content) about businesses correct across millions of businesses is extremely difficult and time consuming. Each party is doing their best, but with thousands of sources, match algorithms, nuances, and opinions on how to do this, the process will continue to be time consuming and difficult for all parties.

In other words, Yext is the most time efficient and cost effective way to maintain control of your business listings across the web.

How Yext Works – Part I: Match and Lock

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.

Match & Lock

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.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.53.51 AM(Our clients see “PowerListings Synced” once the Lock is in place)

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.

Local Search: Real-Time Content is King

On fourth of July weekend, I went to my favorite farmer’s market, Round Swamp Farm, to pick up a pie for a group of friends.  Much to everyone’s dismay, I came back empty-hand, because Round Swamp had closed early due to the heat.

Before going, I had checked their Google+ Local Listing, to make sure they were open: RoundSwampGoogle+

All clear. As a backup, I even checked their web site:

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 2.58.34 PM

Both Google+ Local and their own web site indicated they were open, so I went on over.  But, it turns out I should have checked their Facebook page:

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 2.59.26 PM

They announced their closure via a social post on Facebook!  They didn’t do it on their own web site.  They didn’t do it on Google.  They did it in Facebook.

Increasingly, I am noticing the richest, best content about a business is on its Facebook page.  Not just posts – but pictures (both from users and from the business), updates, and recommendations.  

A fun exercise:  Compare your favorite businesses Web site, Google+ Local listing and their Facebook page.  Which provides the richest experience?

Summer at Yext

It’s summertime here at Yext, and we’re taking some time to enjoy the warm weather. Recently, we gave each of our employees a pair of Yext sunglasses to take on their adventures and asked that they send a picture wearing them as they celebrate summer.

Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to!

Alison Penny

The Customer Support team trying on their new glasses

yextellent

Team Yext showing off the new sunglasses in the office

Marley and AnneAnne and Marley in East Hampton

Katie and Ryan

Yext kids enjoying the beach

phil the intern

Phil, the intern, on the Outer Banks

mikey in harry potter world

Mikey enjoys Harry Potter World

intern love

 Interns showing off their new Yext sunglasses

yextmarksthespot

CEO, Howard, and friends showing off the Yext ‘X’

IMG_0721

Yext team at a pool party

Andy Gleaner

Andy in Yext sunglasses and T-shirt

1044662_10102047364856219_617630635_n

Customer Support’s Ali enjoying the summer sun

Mobile + Location: Where Will the People Go?

Working to get perfect location information into every hand is never as relevant as it is when we talk about mobile.  The more customers use their devices, the more places they can go, and the more need they have to find new locations.

One of the most popular activities on mobile devices is search, especially local search. When you are out with your phone, you are likely to look up a place you are headed – for directions, for a phone number, for information about whether you can buy what you need.  In fact,

  • 50% of all local searches performed on mobile device
  • 7 of 10 mobile searches = action within one hour
  • 9 of 10 mobile searches = purchase or visit

What We Are Seeing From Businesses – As mobile and local decision making get more closely tied, how are businesses reacting?  At Yext, we see three best practices from our customers:

  1. Ensuring mobile location hygiene to capture the intent of local search – Mobile is not only the place where a customer searches for somewhere she already knows; accurate location information is also the way to connect to more general local searches.  When businesses come up on mobile screens at the right time – on a map, in an app, or in a search engine – it might convert into the sale, or room booking, or dinner option.
  2. Enabling local discovery with fresh content – For many local businesses, mobile is the key to being discovered, the key to finding new customers.  On mobile and in local, people are often looking for specific information around a location near where they are – for a seasonal food item, for what’s happening on Tuesday, for what’s on sale.  In the store, sales teams can use their devices to update their location information – from open hours to events – in real-time to keep listings fresh and relevant.
  3. Differentiating with content creation – The killer feature of the smart phone is, of course, the camera, and the impact for business is that all employees can become local content creators.  With the right permissioning for brand protection, adding photos and videos to business listings is often the easiest way to create immediately richer, engaging experiences right when customers are looking.

What We’re Doing About It – At Yext, we are working to make mobile easy to manage for businesses in two ways:

  • First, we want to make it easy to reach customers with the best location information using our Network.  On mobile browsers, we connect our through 45+ publishers of maps, apps, and local search experiences and within apps environments, we work with 20+ applications, from HopStop to Foursquare.
  • Then, we want to make it easy to update and post new information – with our Android and iPhone apps.  Our apps allow you to:
    • Review your mobile listings
    • Update your Featured Messages as deals and products change day to day
    • Take new photos and videos as local content and automatically upload to your profile

We have built our network and our tools to help our customers grow their businesses through local search and local discovery.  By doubling down on mobile, we further our mission: to put perfect location information in every hand.

Find more information about Yext Mobile here.

It’s easier to build the world’s map than map the world’s location data

Think of the mall nearest to where you live.  How many times over the past decade have the primary building or roads around the mall changed significantly?  Probably once, maybe twice at most.

Now, think of the stores in your mall.  How many times over the past decade have you seen new stores open, old stores close, or store locations change within your mall?  If your mall is like most malls, you’ve seen hundreds of changes over a decade.

Now think about even deeper information about a particular store.  What time do they open? What’s on sale?  What are their holiday hours?   Who’s the store manager?  What’s on display in the window?  This store-specific information changes even more often than the basic stuff about location.

And that’s why it’s easier to build a map of the world than it is to map the world’s location data.

It’s easier to keep up with the terrain, physical building structures, and roads around the outside of your mall since they don’t change that often.  It’s a lot harder to stay on top of the critical business information inside, because it’s changing all the time.

Getting it right requires constant updates – best accomplished by the business itself, who has an incentive to keep their information current everywhere.