Latest Local SEO Labyrinth: the New ExpressUpdateUSA

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If you want your business to rank well in the local search results, it needs to be listed correctly on ExpressUpdate.com – AKA InfoGroup, formerly ExpressUpdateUSA.

You probably knew how important your ExpressUpdateUSA listing is.  (If you didn’t, read this and this and then come back here.)

But you might feel jarred by three extremely recent changes to the site and to the process of adding or fixing your listing:

Change 1.  The new layout.  It’s a little easier to find the area where you can check your listing.  Unfortunately, this is the only change that makes things simpler.

 

Change 2.  You now have to verify by phone if you want to claim and make changes to your listing.

Even if you already have a listing that you created and owner-verified by email and that InfoGroup published, you can’t simply log into your account to make changes.  You can’t simply click the big green “Login” button and enter your trusty login info.

You must phone-verify – before you can create an account, before you can log in, and before you can make any changes.

 

Change 3.  The area where you can add your listing for the first time (in case you’re not already listed) doesn’t seem to require verification – by phone or email.  If you search for your business (see point #1, above) and nothing comes up, scroll down and you’ll see the “Add a listing” option.

Or you can just go straight to http://www.expressupdate.com/place_submissions/new

By the way, when it comes time to pick out a category to list your business under, you might find InfoGroup’s category-picker to be slow and frustrating.

It’s easier if you go to OSHA’s Standard Industrial Category search tool and find the most-appropriate category for your business there, and enter that into the “Primary SIC” field.

Next steps

So what do you do now?  Depends whether you’re a complete do-it-yourselfer business owner or you’re having a friendly local-search pro help you out.

If you’re going it alone:

1.  Check up on your ExpressUpdate listing now.

2.  If your business is listed 100% correctly, you don’t need to do anything –  although it would be smart to take 2-3 minutes to claim your listing anyway.

3.  If your listing isn’t 100% accurate, make sure you’re by the phone so that you can claim and then correct your listing.  Do it now, or the incorrect info will come back to bite your local rankings in the rump.

4.  If your business isn’t listed at all, add it and follow whatever instructions you get.  Because InfoGroup’s policies just changed, I haven’t had the chance to confirm whether they’ll tell you exactly what to do, or whether you just have to check up on your listing again later and claim it by phone once it’s approved.  In any case, you will need to claim the listing personally, sooner or later.

How about if you’re working with a local SEO?  In that case, there’s only one difference: now ExpresssUpdate requires a little teamwork.

It used to be that your friendly local SEO-er only needed access to your business email address in order to do anything that needed to be done with your listing.

Now if your local-search consigliere says that you need to claim your listing in order to make changes to it, you two need to nail down a time when you’ll both be by the computer and you’ll be by the phone, ready to follow the instructions for verifying your listing.

By the way, if you need to, you can actually reach a human who can fog a mirror.

Final thoughts

If you run a business in the US, the changes at InfoGroup matter to your local rankings and visibility.  As a local SEO, I’m not wild about the changes, because they’re extra little hoops to jump through with my clients.

But I can totally see why InfoGroup made the changes: It’s harder for bad information to enter their system (which helps their new Data Axle offering).  Ultimately, that means the local search results in Google and elsewhere will be a little more accurate.  If your competitors are doing stuff that’s not kosher, life might get tougher for them.

I doubt that ExpressUpdate is moving to a freemium model, the way LocalEze did recently.  But who knows.  My advice is: square away your listing now, while it’s still free and relatively straightforward to do so.

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Comments

  1. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the update and the phone number. One of our clients changed their name, added a suite number and revised their business description. It has been an adventure to say the least with some of the major free listing. We created a free business listing for them with ExpressUpdateUSA 5 months ago. On 6/2/13 I made the changes and when I hit the submit button a note appeared “changes to your listing have been submitted and are being processed: Estimated completion date: 8/16/13.” I was surprised at how long it will take. Now, I’m wondering if I’m this listing is caught up in the new changes.

    I will follow-up with the phone number you provided. It seems the citation business – search engine pages, directory listing, data aggregators, your local Patch, BBB, anywhere you can be listed has become a huge industry. It’s hard to keep up – we appreciate you helping with these updates!

  2. Phil,

    Another great post!

    Just curious, do you think your list here http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/definitive-local-search-citations/ is still the most current to go off of for building citations?

    Matt

    • Thanks, Matt!

      Yeah, although there are other great lists out there, I try to keep my list super-current. I’ve just updated ExpressUpdateUSA and Local BOTW to reflect the recent changes. Please do let me know if you see anything that’s not accurate on the list, or if there are sites you suggest I add.

  3. We have about 30 client locations listed with Infogroup, and since going through the process of phone verification for each one of these would be grueling, I called their Content Feedback group to discuss options. After three phone calls and two voicemail messages, I finally spoke to a real, live person.

    I found out that if I want these listings to stay free, I will have to re-claim each listing, bundling up to five on a single login. Each location will have to receive the phone call and enter a four-digit code that will appear on the screen after the call is initiated. The problem is, according to Infogroup, their automated phone call doesn’t handle business’ automated phone systems very well. For those, you have to call the Content Feedback group and “…provide some type of proof that [you] represent the business and content feedback can help.”

    The alternative is to pay a yearly fee for each listing and do a bulk upload. In that case, the Content Feedback team will personally call each location and speak to a human who can verify listing details.

    I hope this information is helpful to other agencies out there!

  4. Love the context…consigliere, nice share on the OSHA SIC link too – that can save business owners lots of time. Thanks to Janelle also for sharing after action report for bulk listings.

    ExpressUpdate has been a challenge to this cowpoke in the past; looking forward to new and exciting hoops.

  5. Phil:

    What is the best way to delete duplicate listings on Express Update? I have a client that has two listings and we need to delete one. He has them both claimed.

    Travis Van Slooten

  6. avatar Jonathan says:

    It has been a while since i worked with express update, i have a client i am working with to update their information. Can someone confirm for me whether when clicking the “Yes, Claim This Business” if a machine provides with a pin number that is to be entered online or if the client will talk directly to a Rep.
    Thank You

  7. Great information! Question: I have an ExpressUpdate listing, but it appears to require a fee to do anything. Does it have any value for local search if you don’t take the Premium option?

    Thanks.

    • It sure does. In fact, you can do everything with the free listing. They’re just pushing the paid version pretty hard – which is actually white-labeled Yext. You just have to dig around a little to find the dashboard where you can fix all your ExpressUpdate info.

  8. Customer service is non-existent. My client is a publicly traded international company that has near-zero marketing: enter me. I attempt to claim through Infogroup, the number they have is wrong, likely because the business was bought and revamped, new numbers etc, by my client.

    So I give them the website with the new number, I give them listings, they refused to update the number for my client. “We need to get this request from the business owner.” Short of showing them a stock certificate, there is no individual who can claim to be the “business owner.” After requests to be converse with a supervisor, I ask if a manager would be acceptable? They say yes. Think its over?

    Nope. The manager’s email domain reflects the larger company, not the local business.

    This rep refuses to connect me to a supervisor or do the simplest request to update the business number (despite overwhelming evidence that they have a wrong one). Does anyone have a number to an actual rep/supervisor?

    I am pretty close to pulling all my clients from spending with infogroup.

    • It’s hard for me to comment on that, Sean. There are too many specifics I don’t know.

      ‘Fraid I don’t have a number for a current higher-up at InfoGroup.

      • Thanks Phil, I just cant understand why they are unwilling to update the contact information. They do that, and we’re gravy. If they ever called the number they have on file, they would learn its dead, then maybe they would be forced to seek out a correct number.

        At least with Acxiom I can submit a phonebill or a tax-notice with the correct NAP. Infogroup, or at least this rep (the first rep I have dealt with), is about as helpful as an asshole on my elbow. “We do not update info at the request of third-parties.” Yo-k.

  9. Hey Phil, do you know what happens if I cancel my express update premium subscription, do my listings go away?

    • Because it’s a white-labeled version of Yext, yes, some of your listings will likely go away or simply revert back to being incorrect. I doubt your ExpressUpdate listing would, though.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] BTW, I did a post on this last night: Latest Local SEO Labyrinth: the New ExpressUpdateUSA | LocalVisibilitySystem.com [...]

  2. [...] Yep. I haven't investigated to deeply but my old login became invalid. Phil, one of the Top Contributors did a fantastic post about it – Latest Local SEO Labyrinth: the New ExpressUpdateUSA | LocalVisibilitySystem.com [...]

  3. [...] Revamped and renamed in June.  ExpressUpdate now requires business owners to claim their listings by phone personally.  Let’s say you added your business to the site a year ago (or had someone else do it), claimed your listing, and have been happy ever since.  Now let’s say you need to update one bit of info on your listing.  Your old login won’t work.  You have to look up your listing, claim it by phone, and wait for ExpressUpdate to approve you and give you new login info.  Then you can make changes. [...]

  4. [...] @Amber Sad but true. Pretty much the only option now is to have your client personally go through the phone-verification. There's no longer any way you can do it for him/her. But, it'll only take your client a few minutes. FWIW, I wrote about this change back in June: Latest Local SEO Labyrinth: the New ExpressUpdateUSA | LocalVisibilitySystem.com [...]

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