Update 4/11/13: If your business is already listed on CitySearch and you simply want to claim your listing so you can make edits to it, go to https://signup.citygrid.com/cyb/find_business. If your business isn’t listed on CitySearch and you’re trying to add it, follow the below instructions.
Adding a free business listing to CitySearch.com has always been a little tricky.
It hasn’t even always been possible to do so: the site has flip-flopped between offering free listings and not offering them.
The latest curveball is the disappearance of CitySearch’s old “Add a business” form. It used to be buried a couple pages deep on the site, but – as I noticed a few weeks ago – the “submit” form now is completely gone.
No apparent way to list a business manually on CitySearch – other than maybe to wait a few months for InfoGroup to feed your info into the backend.
Bummer. It’s one of those sites your business needs to be listed on if you want to rank well in the Google+Local search results. Plus, especially given Google’s disastrous handling of Google+Local customer reviews recently and CitySearch’s huge role in the “local business reviews ecosystem,” it’s become a really good idea to try to get reviews on CitySearch. For which you need a listing on CitySearch.
My clever workaround solution? I poured myself a cold brew and resigned myself to being temporarily unable to build CitySearch listings for my newest clients. I’d been on the choppy old wooden roller coaster at CitySearch Land before and just assumed there was nothing to be done about the bumpy ride.
But today Travis Van Slooten of TVS Internet Marketing kindly told me that there’s actually a way – albeit a somewhat clunky and inconvenient one. His email explains:
They recently changed the format of their site and the “Add a Business” link broke and they are working on getting it back up. The problem is, the customer service rep I talked to said there was no time table as to when it will be fixed.
In the mean time, you can add a business for free by emailing them directly. Their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
All you have to give them is [your business name, address, and phone number] , web address, and category and they’ll add it manually for you. It takes them 3-5 days to create the listing and then 2 weeks before it’s searchable on their website.
To correct or delete duplicates, just send them an email at the same email address and they’ll fix everything for you. You don’t even have to have any listings claimed. You can just tell them, “I want to keep this listing so I can claim it but first make all these changes to it. Then for these other 2, please delete them.” Supposedly they’ll sort everything out for you.
If you already knew about this approach, I’m glad. But if you’re anything like me, then the above solution comes as a bit of good news to you.
I’d love to hear about your recent experiences with CitySearch free listings – so please leave a comment if you’ve got any intel to share.
Travis Van Slooten says
Thanks for sharing this! I just hope the email trick actually works. You never know. I could have gotten a rep that doesn’t know what they’re talking about…lol. I’m in the process of testing it. I submitted a new business listing tonight and sent another email to have some duplicates removed for another listing. I’ll keep you posted on what unfolds. Hopefully it works.
Travis Van Slooten
Thanks again for the tip! CitySearch support were helpful on a few occasions I contacted them in the past, but other times weren’t responsive. I appreciate any time someone can save me some legwork 🙂
I’m also in the midst of getting my latest clients on there, so I guess we’ll compare notes in a week or two.
Linda Buquet says
Travis said: “Thanks for sharing this! I just hope the email trick actually works”
Phil, Travis posted about this over at my new Local Search Forum too and someone over there replied and confirmed it actually does work. They have done it several times.
Hey Linda, thanks for the intel! Glad that made it onto your forum as well (which looks excellent, btw – great going on setting it up recently).
Travis Van Slooten says
I don’t think it will take a week to compare notes. I already got a reply back from CitySearch this afternoon. They said they received my requests and that they would be processed in 3-5 business days. This wasn’t an automated email either. Someone also commented over at Linda’s forum that this email trick does indeed work. By all indications, all systems are go:)
Travis Van Slooten
Awesome – thanks for the confirmation!
I’m glad there are others who share my frustration with CityGrid.
But to be honest, there has only been one instance where I had a client who was not found on City Search. Luckily that was back when adding a listing was easier. That client was a brand new start up so therefore he was not found anywhere on the Internet.
Out of the other 126 clients I do local search optimization for, they were all found on City Search. Mind you, some were tricky to find because of previous locations, company names, etc. but they were found after some leg work.
CityGrid is coming along. The new dashboard looks very nice, changes are viewable immediately, and they respond within 2-3 days after you request a phone number to be corrected so you can claim a listing.
I have you in my Feedler so I’ll keep checking in to see if you’ve gained any more insight into City Search and if I learn anything new I’ll chime in.
Interesting. I think it just comes down to exactly what situation your clients are usually in. Like your clients, most of mine had CitySearch listings before I came along (of course, whether those listings were up-to-date and problem-free is a separate question entirely). But a good number of them didn’t, and a few of my new clients haven’t. Obviously “new” businesses tend not to have CitySearch listings, but occasionally I’ll run across a business that’s been around for a while that doesn’t have a CitySearch listing for some reason.
So CitySearch isn’t always an issue, but when it’s been a problem, it’s been a really vexing problem.
I do like the overall direction CitySearch is moving in, too. It’s becoming less clunky, and I like the new system for posting reviews.
Thanks for weighing in!
Mike Zaremba says
Thanks for the update Phil! Always look forward to your posts.
No problem, Mike! Thanks for the feedback.
This is a great way to get CitySearch to edit and add my listings. I have been struggling for the last week trying to change a clients address, but after emailing them I got a response and everything was updated. Works like a charm!!
Glad to hear it’s working for you! Same here. Let’s hope CitySearch gets a more-permanent way in place soon.
Joe Rahall says
Thanks for the tip Phil.
No problem, Joe! Since I wrote this I’ve tried it personally many times, and it works (whew!): CitySearch will add you.
A to Z Net Ventures (Houston) says
A big thank you for this. I just spent the last hour trying to figure out whether my being in the UK at this moment is causing the add free listing buttons to be hidden. No mention of this work around on their site so I guess they don’t want the extra work ;-D
I had no problem updating an existing listing for someone else today though.
No problem! I’m glad to create extra work for the folks at CitySearch 🙂
A to Z Net Ventures (Houston) says
Hahaha. I have a few other businesses I’d like to add. I’m guessing it would look better to do them each separately from email addresses the use matching domains but have you ever sent them a list of businesses to add in one email? Cheers!
Just submit ‘em one at a time, from the same email address, but in separate emails. That’s what I do. Easy enough for me, and easy for the people at CitySearch to process.
Here’s what a typical request from me looks like:
I’d like to submit a free listing to CitySearch’s directory. Here is my client’s info:
His business is a ______.
[my email address]
Works like a charm. They do a very good job of processing businesses that need to be added/updated.
A to Z Net Ventures (Houston) says
Thanks Phil. I received a reply from them earlier to an email I send requesting addition. They are opening a ticket to get it done. My email was a little more verbose then yours – maybe I was trying too hard LOL
It’s all good. If the business info is accurate it’ll work just fine! It’ll probably be at least a week (but probably not more than 2) for your clients’ listings to show up on the site.
A to Z Net Ventures (Houston) says
Just a quick update to say after going this route, my emailed submission was added inside a week. Thanks Phil and thanks CityGrid.
Awesome! That’s been my experience and others’, too.
Jessica Cox says
Thank you! This is a very detailed guide to fixing a sticky problem. 🙂
Wooden roller coaster is the perfect description.
No problem, Jessica! Let’s hope they upgrade to a steel, shoulder-harnessed, puke-inducing corkscrew coaster soon 🙂
Great post Phil!
Back in May (2012) I finally just called and got CitySearch/CityGrid on the phone.
Spoke w a very friendly chap there named Luiz on Thursday, May 3, 2012 for nearly an hour on the phone, and he took plenty of time to listen to what I do as a freelance online marketer for my clients and explained quite a bit to me about the whole CitySearch/CityGridMedia thing!
For anyone who doesn’t know: CityGrid is the parent company that owns CitySearch.com. They also own Merchant Circle, InsiderPages. Match.com and a bunch more. Definitely huge!…and one definitely wants to get their listing info right with these guys!
I was incredibly relieved to have a friendly, personal contact there (Luiz) who freely offered up his personal email and direct phone number at the beginning of the call in case I ever needed to contact him or them with any similar questions. And I was perfectly up-front about the fact that I am a small online marketing agency and that I wasn’t interested just yet, per se, in any paid advertising.
He still took plenty of time to help me out which I found impressive!
My 1st client listing was not claimable because YP.com was, at the time, controlling the listing – likely because the clinic has advertised with them in the past. This was new to me! ..that YellowPages is involved in claiming business owners’ listings (??) on CitySearch. That’s what Luiz told me though.
Luiz then instructed me on the specifics of how to go about gaining access to the listing, which he did by having me purposefully create a 2nd duplicate listing which I did by emailing him the ‘Add A New Listing’ email request discussed here in this post.
He then told me that he would merge the two listings and give me control of them (so that I could delete the bad listing and update/complete the good one).
We also reset the log-on info for another of my client’s listing so I that I was able to log in.
Luiz was also kind enough to update the business title, as well as the phone # (got rid of the old call tracking number).
I was impressed at how helpful these folks were! But yes!—there’s no direct was to add a listing. Luiz suggested that I simply email or call him directly anytime I wish to add a new client listing, exactly as Phil has explained here. It was also nice to not feel like I was getting the typical IYP sales pitch at the end of the call.
Anyway, it’s nice to see some discussion here about how to get in touch with this important player (!) in the local search marketing space!
I a have (previously mentioned) client who is, for some maddening reason, continuing to have listing problems that are showing up in our Google+ listing. After tracking the bunk phone number back upstream through a simply Google search using the incorrect NAP info…sure enough: turns out the incorrect data appears to be coming from, none other than a bad CitySearch listing! Rrr.. which I thought we had all cleaned up.
Anyway, two important points here are: 1) Get your NAP added to CitySearch (via the CityGrid Media) portal by submitting a simple email request as Phil outlines above. 2) Know that these folks ARE there to help and, as far as I can tell, are willing to help out, whether you’re purchasing paid advertising with them or not.
It’s a bit more convoluted and in some sense takes more time to submit an email, make notes that you did so, check back, etc…but it also ensures (fingers crossed) better data accuracy in the long run not only for the businesses in question, but for the web as a whole.
WOW – that may have been the most epic comment ever. Extremely helpful first-hand feedback. Thanks!
Your experience matches mine. The people at CitySearch do a very good job, as you said.
As you also alluded to, CitySearch always has seemed to be a major feed into Google+Local. It’s one of those sites you’ve just got to get right.
I do hope they get the normal “submit listing” form back soon, although I kind of like that fact that because not everyone knows about this “back-road” approach, the turnaround time is pretty quick.
Thank you for posting this, Phil!
No problem! My pleasure.
Thank you for this! I haven’t tried to add my listing yet due to the previous times I accessed their site it would switch back and forth from the old look to the new look. Now that they’ve seemed to accomplish completely changing the site over I was having problems finding the ‘add a business’ form. This will hopefully help me get the listing added.
Sure thing, Megan! This does work surprisingly well (I’ve had to do it many times over the past couple of months). Generally, requests for adding listings seem to go through more quickly than requests for editing listings – though the CitySearch team is still pretty good about the latter.
Hi there! Do ya’ll know if you can you still claim a City Search listing? I see no way to do this. How would I update a primary photo?
I haven’t claimed a CitySearch listing in a while – haven’t needed to – and I’m not even sure if you can at the moment. You may be able to claim at https://signup.citygrid.com/ without getting roped into buying ads.
But I do know that if / when you’re dealing with a listing that’s been claimed, you can make changes to it (including changes to the photos) here:
Estar Holmes says
Great info. Thanks. I recently started to help my clients get listed on directories. Is there an opt out option that is provided when requesting a listing on Citysearch?
No problem, Estar!
If I understand your question correctly, you’re wondering whether there’s a way to request that a particular CitySearch listing be removed? That is, you want a way to opt out of CitySearch’s directory – just because you’d prefer not to have a client’s business listed there for whatever reason?
If that’s the case, I’d say no, there’s not a solution (that I know of) other than to email the people at CitySearch.
Drain Master LA says
I just followed your advice and sent an email to them. Hopefully they will respond.
Thanks very much for the hint !
Any time! They probably won’t respond; rather, within a couple weeks you should just see your listing up on CitySearch.
Pete Jett says
This is great info. Thank you for sharing. Will be giving your suggestions a try today for changing a current listing. Fingers crossed.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Usually after 1-2 weeks your listing is up there.
Thanks for the compliments!
Thanks a ton! I am following your recommendations and hope it works. Having to have just relocated my company across country, I am having to do this all over again… a lot of hard work! Any suggestions how to update my Yahoo Local???? I have spent hours on the phone with them and they alwasy end up disconnecting my call… so frustrating… i dont know my account id or my password, i just have my old email confirmation from them with my listing id……
Yeah, relocating can create a ton of extra gruntwork…it’s worth doing it, though!
If you don’t know your account ID and password and didn’t specify a backup email address tied to your account, then I believe you’ve run into a dead end with that particular Yahoo account. My suggestion would be to create and owner-verify a totally new listing and, once that’s up and running, to try to report the other one (to which you don’t have access) as a duplicate; they may eventually remove it.
Requesting CityGrid to add a business listing by sending them a mail does not seem to work any more!
Thanks for the feedback. Could you elaborate a little on what you tried? It’s worked perfectly for me and for others so far. I imagine that there are some requests the CitySearch folks would have a harder time complying with – if you email them with 20 listings you want submitted, or if a listing you’re submitted doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web, etc.
Or if you want to paste the email you sent them into a comment on this post (assuming the email isn’t too long!), I can see if any potential issues jump out at me.
Thanks for checking in, Phil.
It has always been this standard format and it has worked nicely for me, till now. And of course no request for bulk listings and yes listings of this business are very much visible in other directories (consistent NAP) across the web.
Hello CityGrid Media Team,
Could you please add a basic listing of our business to CitySearch?
The details are as follows:
Hmm…that’s puzzling. That’s a pretty good email. The only thing I can think of is you may not want to say “our business” IF it’s the case that you’ve submitted several businesses to CitySearch this way. I don’t know whether they’re reading into your emails this closely, but you may not want to foster the impression that YOU are owner or part-owner of a bunch of businesses, because they may think “How can this one guy own so many totally different types of businesses?” So what I suggest is replacing “our business” with “my client’s business.”
The only other thing I’d suggest – if you’re not doing it already – is including your full name and email address at the bottom of the email as well as the email address of your client. It’s just another way of showing that you’re credible and intend well.
If you make those minor tweaks and give CitySearch a couple weeks to process, I would be extremely surprised if your listings don’t go through.
Thanks for the recommendations, Phil. I am going to try out those.
Estar Holmes says
I’m working on citation building and thought I’d try the email to CityGrid. Mailed my basic info to email@example.com over the weekend and received a call first thing Monday morning from a very helpful dude who wanted to sell me services. First of all, he said there are no current plans to resume the dyi page building function. Pages are built by CityGrid professionals for $199, and $19.95/mo, which might be waved if you buy the pay per click/call tracking service, which seems to be the main sales thrust. Cost of clicks/calls varies according to category with Graphic Designer at $2.25. He offered to get me in at a lower cost by promoting one of my less expensive services. Sounds like the free listing is bare bones – no images, keywords, etc.
CitySearch definitely is in a state of flux regarding DIY listings. The free listing is bare-bones, as you say. But that’s fine. It’s still a very important citation to have, and it’s worth getting reviews on the site as well, so at least that will help make up for the sparse feel.
I am been trying a VERY long time to put my add on citysearch. I wonder what I did wrong … You guys had success not me yet!
It looks like you have several locations. I recommend submitting each one separately, over a period of a few weeks (submit one, wait for it to be published, and if it is, submit another listing, then another). Also, as I’m sure you know, each location will need its own address and phone number. Feel free to let me know if you tried the above already and still aren’t getting through.
Cathy Bailey says
I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org almost three weeks ago and still have not received a response to have a free listing added. I resent the email this morning. Perhaps the free listing is no longer available?
Thanks for that, Cathy. I’d say there’s a 10-20% chance CitySearch is changing gears or for whatever reason isn’t as receptive before. I’ve had one client recently whose CitySearch listing didn’t stick because we had a hard time getting his other citations to stick, which in turn is because he’s in an industry that unfortunately has been saturated with spammers.
So I think if you’ve squared away your citations on other major sites – ExpressUpdateUSA.com, LocalEze, YP, SuperPages, Yelp – then there’s a good chance your CitySearch listing will stick. I’d do those and loop back to CitySearch later. (Maybe you’ve done this already and those other listings are in good shape, in which case I’m temporarily stumped.)
Ginger Leigh says
Call 800-611-4827. Press 1 to indicate that you would like to become an advertiser (even though you want a free listing). Tell the rep that you would like to add your business to their network. It should take 1-3 days for you to be added.
If that doesn’t work, then go to https://signup.citygrid.com/enroll submit your information. Wait for an email (it’s not instant for some reason, but it should arrive within an hour). Then, call the number above 800-611-4827 and give them the customer ID number listed at the bottom of the email you will receive.
Best of luck!
Thanks for the info, Ginger!
Thanks. I thought I was losing it trying to find an old listing of my business and then couldnt find any way to add then saw your post!!!
No problem, Michelle!
Robin Frisella says
Did as Ginger suggested, called # and pressed 1 and then 1 again. Talked to rep and told them I wanted my business listed. He got very basic info, name, address and that’s it. Gave me a ticket number and said in 14 days it should be listed where I can claim it and add more info, at a limited basis since it’s a free listing. Not sure what that means but I’ll see in a few weeks. Took less than 5 minutes, Thanks!
Thanks for the fresh intel, Robin!
I’m going to try it for a few of our friends that could use a City Search listing.
N.B. CitySearch appears to have just come out with a new way to claim your listing, if you’re already listed on CitySearch. See top of post.
Thanks Phil! I’m hoping the info you provided will finally get this resolved for me as well. Citysearch almost acts like Google… change it up every few weeks.
“Google Lite”…I can see that 🙂
Phil, happy to note that CitySearch support has again become active – almost as prompt in replying as they were earlier.
Thanks for the fresh intel, Vijay. That’s great to hear.
Thank you so much for the insight! I was running around in circles trying to find where I needed to be to add a business. I just sent them an email with my information, just waiting to hear back. Thank you!
Any time, Caitlin!
Sandra Marcelin says
Hi Phil. I just called the 800-611-4827 that Robin suggested a few months back and pressed 1 and 1. When I spoke to their rep they said that their policy has changed and now you need to sign up through their partner Infogroup at ExpressUpdateUSA.com. Not sure how long it would take for the listing to show up on Citysearch once Infogroup adds you though.
Thanks for the info, Sandra. I can see that you’re listed on CitySearch, so have you tried claiming your listing at https://signup.citygrid.com/cyb/find_business ? CitySearch has been in a state of flux (layoffs) for months , and Ginger’s very good comment is from February, so things may have changed.
CitySearch is fed by ExpressUpdate (which itself has changed – see this post), but it should still be possible to deal with CitySearch directly.
Sandra Marcelin says
Yes Phil. I claimed my listing today on Citygrid.com. Thank you.
Any time, Sandra!
Thank you so much. We have been trying to figure out a way to get our site https://www.coolingtampa.com on city search for 3 weeks and your blog just solved the question for us. I sent the email yesterday after reading your post and was listed today.
Glad to hear, Jeff.
I have been trying to get a client listed on citysearch or citygrid or whatever it is caled now. From what I can tell, from their website, and from their customer service reps, the only way is through https://www.expressupdate.com (not leaving a link to them) and I am completely uninterested in them. I have emailed them today but I do not expect any results. My client isn’t going to bat an eye over not being listed on one site. The problem is that I am now seeing multiple directories that are requiring a third party like expressupdateusa or yext in order to list on their site.. Or am i just paranoid that big money is going to once again engulf an entire industry??
The approaches for CitySearch still work, last I checked.
You’ll want to square away ExpressUpdate any way. Your client needs to be involved. If he doesn’t want to be, he’s clipping his wings.
David Kley says
Very helpful solution. Works every time. Silly how they dont display the direct link from their site. I always have to do a Google search. Oh well, thanks again!
Patrick McCoy says
Much like you, I was enjoying a beer and doing searches all over the web for a solution. CitySearch can be a pain. However, this solution is exactly what I needed for my clients. We work with a big eye doctor group who needed to claim and also edit several location listing information. This has been a blessing! Thank you!!
Phil, we always knew Insiderpages, like Judy’s Book, are affiliated to CitySearch. These days you cannot add a business to Insiderpages. The customer support recommends us to make changes on the CitySearch listings instead, and says the edits would subsequently show up in Insiderpages.
Add a business to CitySearch, but looking for the way to mapquest and Superpages too…
These should work:
If you run into issues, see this:
Digi Vital says
CitySearch is still valuable for business ranking in 2017?
Sarkis Hakopdjanian says
Thanks for sharing! Do you know if CitySearch is available outside of the U.S.?