Bing Ties Yellow Pages Sites For Most Accurate Local Data

In April I wrote about a local data accuracy study preformed by a company called Implied Intelligence. The company offers data services to publishers and developers. In April the company found that yellow pages site Superpages bested Google Maps in terms of the accuracy and completeness of the local business/POI database.

The following was the final ranking of sites according to the April study:

Implied Intelligence crawled and hand checked 1,000 independent local business websites in the US (no chains or franchises were included) and compared that data to the data contained on leading local search sites. Now Implied Intelligence has essentially replicated the study with an expanded group of local sites.

The company looked at 19 leading local search providers and directories, including Yelp, Google Maps, Bing Local, Citysearch, Foursquare, Mapquest, Yahoo Local and major yellow pages sites. The methodology used was identical to the previous test: 1,000 US local business websites were crawled and hand-checked to create a master data set against which to compare the data found on the various directory and search sites.

There were a range of criteria used by Implied Intelligence in evaluating and scoring the sites:

  • Record coverage
  • Number of duplicates
  • Phone errors
  • Address errors
  • Coverage with regards to homepage URL
  • Accuracy with regards to homepage URL
  • Number of records with opening hours
  • Number of records with additional information

The 1,000 local business websites from which the “master data” were obtained were compared to the data on the following expanded list of sites:

I won’t reproduce all the detailed findings and scoring but I’ll summarize what Implied Intelligence determined.

A notable finding involved Bing’s local data. The company said that between its previous test (in April) and today the data on Bing were most improved. In fact, Bing Local was one of three sites that tied for the top average score. The other two were Superpages and Yellowbook, which wasn’t part of the original test.

Below are the final, averaged scores for all the sites involved.

In particular categories the results varied somewhat. For example, Yellowpages/YP.com and Google had the most complete data sets (greatest number of matches with the 1,000 sites). On the other end Foursquare had the most incomplete data set. However that may in part be because Foursquare is focused on a relatively narrow selection of local business categories (e.g., restaurants vs. plumbers).

Yellowbot and Merchant Circle had the highest level of duplicate listings, while DexKnows had the lowest percentage of duplicates. In this case low is better than high. Each category featured a different ranking and slightly different winners and losers.

Implied Intelligence CEO Marc Brombert provided the following comments in his report, which I have edited for length:

No single data supplier or aggregator offers full coverage. There are important problems in user experience in terms of record duplication, errors, and gaps in rich attributes and even the best performing sites still have substantial room for improvement, both in terms of data accuracy and data coverage.

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    This is certainly not the case in the Australian market, most of the issues I’ve had with Local SEO can be traced back to YellowPages over-writing your local updates with it’s out of date data.  The concern is Bing Local is using YellowPages in Australia and the data is a one-way feed… 

    The only way there can be more accurate data if the local directories have a central feed for primary items linked to a unique ID and allow for two-way data transfer so you don’t have to manually update all the local directories each time there is a change to business details.  All the local directories use different data structures for details and this causes so many problems for agencies trying to maintain the most accurate local data for their clients.

  • http://twitter.com/ContentAxis Content Axis

    I guess local search has become very important these days and data set that those companies offer ought to be accurate and current. Recent collaboration between Bing-Yelp and Google-Zagat reveals that companies are working hard to offer most accurate data to their visitors and customers. Though I wonder why FourSquare is lagging in offering quality content to their visitors.

  • http://www.seocoach.at/ SEO Coach

    Unbelieveable that Bing Business Portal still hasn’t been expanded to support other countries than the US.  It has been in “beta” for ages

  • http://wpsites.net/ Brad Dalton

    Bing really are doing a great job in my opinion.

    Their new webmaster tools, beautiful maps for WordPress and integration with yellow pages are just some of the great features they offer.

    Another is that you can actually email them and get a personal response if you need help with a problem.

    Can’t do that with Google. They send you to a public forum where 9 times out of ten your question will never get properly answered

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    Doesn’t this type of study argue for the value of a consolidated, distributed data source like Yext?  One place for business owners and agencies to manage listings and have those listings propagate everywhere?

  • http://www.facebook.com/goldmanr Bob Goldman

    Great post and interesting results! Do you have a link to the original report? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OHDIU2XGRRKBWPOX6KX5I3J4EM Cassandra

    My ńeighboŕ’s mŏther-iń-ląw Maḱes $8O houŕly on the laptoṗ. She has bėėn out of w0rḱ for 7 Ṁonths but ląst Ṁonth her ińcome wąs $8734 just worḱińg on thė laṖt0Ṗ for a ƒew hours. Gŏ to this web siṫe and ŕead morė.. Ca&#115hLazy.com

  • http://zapit.nu/2Am Ruby D. Parks

    Their new webmaster tools, beautiful maps for WordPress and integration with yellow pages are just some of the great features they offer. http://DemoforFrank.blogspot.com

  • johnhollandlaw

    Great to find out that Bing compete the same with yellowpages and google. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7Q532MDH3YZ7C5XK2BDT7G6UE Katharine

    My ńeighboŕ’s mŏther-iń-ląw Maḱes $8O houŕly on the laptoṗ. She has bėėn out of w0rḱ for 7 Ṁonths but ląst Ṁonth her ińcome wąs $8734 just worḱińg on thė laṖt0Ṗ for a ƒew hours. Gŏ to this web siṫe and ŕead morė.. Ca&#115hLazy.com

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