I recently sent the following message to MapQuest. This is a constant frustration for me when trying to update my clients’ business listing information on some of the popular directories out there. Some of the other directories (such as whitepages.com) are doing it, too and I have sent them messages as well. Here is a copy of the message:
MapQuest is one of the most popular sites on the internet (Alexa ranking #401 last time I checked). It is a great source for information about local businesses and their location and services, etc. But I would like to point out a serious flaw in your site:
Sometime recently you “partnered” with a company called Yext and now the only way to edit/update or add information to a business listing on your site is through this company. They charge a minimum of $150 for a one year contract to simply update a listing ONLY on MapQuest. This is an outrageous and unreasonable cost just to update one listing! I have been doing local business listings for many years and I can tell you that almost NOBODY is going to pay this amount. Because of this, business owners are unable to easily correct and update information on your site and as a result it contains a LOT of outdated, incorrect or inadequate information which adversely affects your site’s integrity.
As a solution, I am proposing that you restore the ability for business owners to update and correct their own information. We would love to be able to add a lot of useful information that your competitors’ sites currently allow, such as business hours, business description, profile pictures, categories of service, weblink, etc. People going to your site will likely keep coming back because of the helpful information they find there. Your site will also appear higher and more consistently in Google search rankings because more information equals more relevant query results.
Yext is a good company and provides a valuable service for business owners who are looking for single-source management of their listings, but business owners should also have the option to manage their own listings and not be forced to pay a large fee to do so.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Business Visibility Solutions
4/3/15 UPDATE – I got a reply from MapQuest (see copy of text below and my response)
From: MapQuest Customer Support (MapQuest Help Center ) [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2015 1:19 AM
Subject: [MapQuest Help Center ] Re: Correcting business listing information
MapQuest Customer Support (MapQuest Help Center )
Apr 2, 1:18 AM
Yes, Its correct that YEXT is our data-partner and they charge for any update/add. But YEXT comes to picture only when customer want to claim/manage his/her business listing. I mean using YEXT we gave control of business listing to its real owner.
But if any customer/owner simply want to add/update/remove any listing they can contact MapQuest directly instead of approaching YEXT and we would help them for FREE. Here I mean we can make necessary changes as per customer requirement but won’t provide any log in info to customer ( no control is provided to customer).
Customer can click “more>>Help Center” located at top of map and raise a request with us directly.
MapQuest Customer Support
Thank you for your reply to my inquiry. I’m aware of the ability to update information through your Help Center, but to be blunt, it’s a pain in the butt and most business owners aren’t going to be bothered with it. Most of the larger more reputable companies like Superpages/Dex (Supermedia), YP.com, Yelp, InfoUSA, Acxiom, etc. allow users to claim and update their own information without taking this extra step.
I think you are missing the boat here because free listings are a great source of sales leads. I worked in sales for YellowPages.com (now YP.com) for 5 years and I can tell you that free listings were one of our best sources of customers. I personally upgraded over 25% of these to a paid premium listing. People go on your site just wanting more exposure for their business, most of the time not knowing anything about the other products you offer.
As opposed to the companies I mentioned above, most of the directories Yext contracts with are very obscure and hardly get any traffic (Alexa rankings over 10,000). I hate to see a good company like MapQuest lumped in with them. I would encourage your upper management to reconsider this policy and give us the option to directly manage our own business information. You would create a lot of happy customers and really put MapQuest “on the map”!