Some local listing services claim they can update every listing site instantly.

This is not true and nor is it necessary, and here is why…

Some facts about updating local listings:

An effective local search strategy requires consistent NAP listings in local listings and local citation sites.

There are hundreds of local listing sites, which work in different ways and at different speeds.   Very loosely, we group these into two types of sites:  On-Grid and Off-Grid.

“On-Grid” sites pay to receive regular listing updates via a distributor such as Thomson.local or CentralIndex. However, very few On-Grid sites will update their data instantly, instead, they can take up to 6 weeks before a change takes effect.  Coupled with this, distributors don’t actually guarantee that the listing sites will implement a change request, nor do it accurately!

“Off-Grid” sites periodically receive an update from a distributor (or other sources), but not as a direct feed; These tend to be niche sites that focus on specific sectors.  There are also sites that use their own crawling tools to update information on their own listings, which again takes time and may not happen for several days or even weeks.

Most ‘claimed’ listings can be updated immediately, however, some sites can delay publication of changes by 3-5 days depending on the change and their verification processes.

So how can some companies claim instant updates everywhere?

Well, it is possible to enter into an agreement with specific directories to provide an instant update, but these data feeds tend to work more like an advert on the listing site rather than as a proper listing. So, the listing ‘ad’ changes, but it does not necessarily change in the body of the listing site itself, nor is it disseminated to other on-grid or off-grid listing sites.  This means that instant updates are restricted to a few sites within the portfolio of the service. It is therefore not currently possible to instantly update every listing site everywhere. Period!

This is fine if you are happy with the portfolio of listings offered; however, this is not good if you have sector specific listings which fall outside of the service.

Is it actually necessary to update instantly everywhere?

Ignoring the fact that it is not currently possible, the question is why might you want to update instantly everywhere?

In our experience, the only element of a listing that may need to change frequently is “Opening Times”.  For retailers that change their opening times frequently, it is important that listings reflect this.  However, people do not use basic listing sites to check opening times they use Google!

We manage the opening times for a number of big retail brands.  We don’t claim to update every site everywhere instantly (see above), but we do update Google My Business opening times instantly.

Before using our service, our retail clients had a significant number of customer complaints about incorrect opening times.  Guess what, as soon as we started managing opening times in Google My Business, complaints about opening times stopped!

We can only conclude that people are not using the conventional listing sites for opening times, so why be concerned with instantly updating opening times on listings that aren’t used?  Instead, focus your efforts on getting your NAP listings correct, and then manage the heck out of Google My Business.

Finally, if you open or close business premises, then understandably you want to add or remove listings everywhere as quickly as possible.  However, we’ve already established that this cannot be done instantly everywhere, so what is required is a systematic process of adding (or removing) listings in the right place and sequence, so as to take advantage of the way that online and offline directories work within the listing ecosystem.  Placing an instant listing within a closed portfolio of listing sites will not create a sufficient SEO footprint to instantly improve your local search performance; it takes time!  

Google indexes listings at its own pace, not yours!

So, relax, prioritise and change the listings that matter to your customers and sector.

If you want a service that cleans and manage listing sites that matter to your business and keeps the most viewed ones working for your, then call MiShop.local for a no obligation consultation.