The long awaited analysis of Yext Power Listings is finally being put together into something that maybe I can explain.
A few months ago I began a full scale analysis of Yext and how it can be used effectively to manage an Internet Marketing Campaign.
In this process I gathered 100s of comments around the Internet which raised concerns by experts as well as amateurs regarding how cost effective it is to use a system like Yext for your business. One of the challenges is that there is so much information that I’m going to do my best to compartmentalize it into a format that’s easy to understand.
I’ll tell you that even as a writer that as a tech as well sometimes I have to work extra hard to try and convert my analytical process into a readable format so bear with my comrades!
In order to properly analyze Yext we have to look at the different areas of functionality and also where Yext succeeds, and fails, to meet certain demands of an effective marketing campaign.
Yext for the most part is a system which when used effectively can save a company a lot of money and possibly hundreds of labor hours processing and managing listings across the Internet.
For starters, all information from a business gets collected by research companies so that they can resell it and share it with their affiliates, publishers, search engines and a variety of directory services around the Internet. Companies which collect this data are commonly known as aggregators. Forrester Research for example is one of the biggest marketing companies out there and they gather (datamining) information from a large number of sources. When you fill out a form somewhere it’s possible that your information can legitimately be shared for the purpose of providing a search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) with updated information. This process happens in a spider web of activity and of information sharing so that Search Engine A is sharing with Search Engine G and Search Engine G is sharing with Search Engine Y and Search Engine Y is sharing with Search Engine W,Search Engine Q and Search Engine C and Search Engine C is sharing with Search Engine U, Search Engine E and Search Engine K. For a lot of people this is a confusing mess.
What happens is that one search engine might receive its updates every 30 days and another one might receive its data every 2 weeks and another might update every 3 months. The result is that data is not updated in a timely manner and with so much information being passed it is nearly impossible to effectively keep up with keeping your business profile’s accuracy across all of these sites.
If you go to Bing (random example) for example and are able to get your business profile updated then the following week you might find that it was changed because Bing got updated by one of its aggregators. With over 100 major directories that should be kept updated it is literally a full time job to keep all of these profiles up to data.
Examples of Aggragators:
The issue with certain aggregators is that they are not in the business of serving the general public and to approach them directly to update your information is not feasible. We have attempted to contact AcXiom directly on many occasions and even as an industry partner we don’t get much cooperation from them. If in fact information could be provided to them then you as a company would succeed in having information “trickle down” throughout their channels and over a few months may see your profiles and data get properly updated. Therefore being accurate. If they were to receive an outside update of your information then you would be right back to square one chasing them to modify your information again.
This is where Yext comes in.
Yext has relationships with a select list of “publishers” who have Yext take control of these profiles via a proprietary API that keeps the information accurate 24/7. If a change is attempted then Yext essentially overrides it to put it in simple terms. I’ll skip the technical explanation of how this happens to avoid confusing my audience.
As an “end-user”, or as an SEO/Internet Marketing professional, attempting to manage this complex array of processes can be overwhelming if not impossible. This is where the value of Yext comes in.
When I read technical and user forums with people discussing the value of using a system such as Yext I see a lot of people make statements that they don’t see the value in spending about $500 a year on a system like Yext. These same people in most cases are spending 100 or more hours a year managing their profiles on countless websites. If I can pay about $500 a year to eliminate this process from my schedule to focus my attention elsewhere the answer is simple.
So let’s assume you decide to make the plunge into Yext. Will you as an amateur benefit as much from this system as a trained professional? Most likely no. You will in fact benefit for at least the value of your annual investment without a doubt.
I will compare this to a race car driver vs. the average person driving in the Indy 500 or NASCAR. If you buy the car does this make you qualified to drive in the race and will you get the same results? Most likely no. This is the reality and this is the same as anyone stepping outside of their profession to take on the task of someone else. For this I highly recommend that if you are trying to pursue an aggressive SEO and Internet Marketing campaign than it would be in your best interest to have a professional manage your system.