UBL And Yext Join Forces To Offer More Complete Local Data Syndication

Several years ago Universal Business Listing sought to become the “one stop shop” for local business listings syndication. The dream was that small businesses and their surrogates could sign up in one place online and ensure their data were in all the right places across the internet. While that has not fully come to pass, the company has taken a step closer through a deal with former competitor Yext.

Yext began as a pay-per-call network and shifted last year to focus on local listings syndication. Yext works with small businesses but also brands with multiple locations.

Emulating the now defunct Google Tags, Yext developed a real-time data distribution network (“PowerListings“) across the major search engines and local directory sites (including Yelp but not Google). UBL had been trying to develop a similar “real-time” data update capability.

The Yext PowerListings distribution has been incorporated into UBL’s new “UBL Express” product. According to press materials, “The Yext platform allows UBL customers to manage business listings on over 35 search engines and directories via direct-connect instant feeds, as well as view user activity through a monitoring dashboard.”

The combination offers a convenience for many local marketers who might have been trying to choose between Yext and UBL. UBL’s sydnication network fills in many of the blanks in the Yext distribution, which didn’t offer Google Places: “The UBL components will include establishing Google Places profiles as well as syndication of the listings to the databases that feed hundreds of other search engines, social networks and mobile/GPS services.”

The UBL Express package is priced at $599 per year and is the most expensive of the UBL data distribution bundles. Yext is not reselling the UBL product on a reciprocal basis.

Bruce Clay and UBL were embroiled a couple of months ago in a strange controversy over a “Local Paid Inclusion” product Bruce Clay announced. UBL denied that it was involved in any way.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | SEO: Local

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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://twitter.com/ConsultingCumbr Ray Cumbria

    Useful update Greg.  However is this change only going to be relevant to the US or will it spill over to us here in the UK?

  • Silver Smith

    Ray, for the time being the UBL/Yext joint offering is US-only.

  • Saksiri Kridakara

    I’ve looked into using UBL to list my business and researched further by reading experiences from other businesses on various forums. It appeared that 90% of people that tried it did not notice any additional SEO benefit. Can you offer any insight on this service in terms of whether or not it indeed helps with traffic or SEO? I’ve never met a single person that uses UBL to find a business so if it does not help with SEO, what benefits does it serve…if any? I’d love to hear other experiences….

  • http://twitter.com/ian_williams Ian Williams

    Saksiri, part of what I use directory submission for is building citations to promote locations in Google local search. More, consistent citations can help a location rank higher in universal search. I do this in the UK though, so I can’t comment whether Google looks to UBL’s partners as citation sources.

  • LocalLister

    UBL & YEXT both provide a good service to help manage local business listings. However… It does not make sense to me to pay BIG yearly fees for listings that are not brought within your control. We are using another service that actually manually claims & verify’s the listings and puts them in our control, making changes to listings are easy if you control them in your own account. The service is white label and better meets agencies needs (plus it is very reasonably priced). We use this service for building our clients local business listing foundation… 
    http://businesslistingverification.com/    

    It is still important to get MASS distribution of listing data in addition to controlling the main local search destinations like Google Places, Bing, YP, etc..  UBL has an affordable “core distribution” package that is good for this purpose. 

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