Local search marketers have been grappling with the problem of duplicate and inaccurate business listings for years now. A number of local SEO and presence management providers have solutions that deal with “dupes” in different ways. However, the issue persists due to the number of data sources that continue to push inaccurate or duplicative information into the local ecosystem.
To address duplicates and inaccurate listings more comprehensively, Moz announced that its Moz Local software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution has received a number of updates to help franchises better detect duplicate listings, submit them for closure and track progress.
Moz says these product enhancements will help:
- Better identify duplicate submission errors to its data partners;
- Improve auto closure of detected duplicates;
- Continuously resubmit submissions that partners have not processed correctly.
Moz Local currently manages 75,000 business locations for companies such as Crate & Barrel, Sears, Kmart, Reebok, Geico, State Farm and more. With today’s release, that company says it will now auto-close about 44% of all listing closure requests, speeding up the manual review of the rest of these closure requests.
During a demo, I was struck by the tools ability to drill down into the data (above). For instance, a multi-location brand has the ability to look at all of its listing issues at once or expose insights from a particular geographic region. Layering this location-specific listing data with website traffic or overall sales could uncover some interesting “before and after” case studies around the impact inaccurate listings have on business performance.
According to Mark Corley, VP of Moz Local, the biggest differentiator between the Moz Local product and its competitors is its approach to de-duping. While some companies take a suppression approach that tells a publisher to hide a listing deemed inaccurate or duplicative, Moz’s approach is to correct the data “at the source.”
Moz Local does this via a direct channel to its partners (listed above), informing them of listings that need to be corrected or removed. To help improve the efficiency of duplicate resolution, Corley said that in some cases Moz leveraged its industry know-how to help partners develop or enhance their own APIs.
While the updates are geared towards franchise and agency clients who manage hundreds of locations, SMBs currently using Moz Local’s self-serve product will also benefit from the improved auto-closure. More importantly, helping both SMBs and franchises/agencies correct listings at the source leads to a better local search experience for consumers.