Posts Tagged ‘merger’

Bing + Yahoo = 1..2…Punch!

Posted: October 1, 2010 by Thos003 in business, Marketing, SEO
Tags: , , ,

As many other marketers, watching the internet unfold and the movie reel movie rapidly into the future, the latest Bing and Yahoo merger has been one of this year’s highlights. From either side of the coin, this merger is intriguing. Google can take a short breath and breathe a gleeful sigh of victory, HA!… But wait this tag team just might knock some wind out of Google’s sail!

THE POWER OF BING/YAHOO ADVERTISING

Well… as many others would agree,  the results from advertising in Bing are good, just wish there was more! So results are good. But what I really look forward to from this new conglomerate is the customer service. Honestly, I have always been impressed with the level of customer service that Yahoo has provided me. And just yesterday my Yahoo account rep called to verify that my account was merging well with Bing.  And since I had him on the phone, I had to ask a him a few quick questions about where he was headed after the merger…

“I’m not going anywhere. In fact, I am really looking forward to how well Bing and Yahoo are going to work together. Bing is a software company. They do go things with software. Yahoo get’s to keep doing what we do well, working with customers. All premium accounts would be maintained by Yahoo. Yahoo employee’s will be the customer service side. ….It was important for us to maintain that relationship.”

I was honestly relieved and excited to hear this, Yahoo has been the most customer friendly search engine I have dealt with.

THE SEARCH RESULTS

I must say that Bing’s search results are impressive, so impressive that they seem to almost mirror Google’s search results.  The fact that Bing has cut out the cluttered MSN page and provided a search page is going over well.  The calming graphics are nice…. probably increases time on page… almost like slow music at a grocery store to keep you there just a little bit longer.  So I give the search results an A…. Minus the maps.

Local search seems to be the bane of the search engines and the marketers a like.  Both are experience this sudden growing pain together.  Bing will continue to maintain their local maps and local business listings, and Yahoo will continue to maintain their local maps and listings.  My yahoo rep did promise me that Yahoo was investing heavily in their local maps.  Yahoo is also introducing an applet in the search results for local areas.

“Well if you’d like some feedback on the local stuff, you know where to find me.”

Don’t mind me I am just a pest control guy that focuses on the little things all day long. =)

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GoogleMaps has taken on a very difficult task.

With so much information on the web and with so many varying components and inconsistencies in the way information is presented, the task of compiling and identifying local businesses is Gargantuan. Google has been storing information for several years from an array of sources; telephone registration, advertising, utilities, phone books, and blogs. Each different source has provided local addresses and other local information. In collecting this data Google has decided to try its hand in providing a more local resource directory. They want searchers to be able to find the local restaurants, doctors, dentists, plumbers, pest controllers. But in amassing such data they must sift out the inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and the old with the new.

The Map Merger

Address Similarities:

Maps in Google often merge because of too much similarity to another listing.  Two doctors sharing the same building for similar practices (i.e. pediatricians), will have the same address, minus a suite number.  These doctors have a high probability for being merged.  Even if one is on the 1st floor and the other on the 51st floor.

Business Name Similarities:

Other local listings may be merged because the business name is too similar. Let’s take “Tulsa Pest Control” and “Tulsa Pest Control Deals”. In this case Google makes a  judgment call based on the information they have.  If “Tulsa Pest Control” is registered with the BBB, Structural Pest Control Board, and the local chamber of commerce and “Tulsa Pest Control Deals” is not then Google will most likely merge it to “Tulsa Pest Control”.  However, there are other factors that could sway this the wrong direction.  Claimed listings, online spam, or the most recent content.

Same Business Name Different Locations:

A company with mulitple locations may see their listings merge.  Key factors in merging these local listings are the website address and the phone number.  If you have one phone number for all of your locations then you are at a high risk of being merged.  Sharing the same website will also push you closer to a merger.

How to unmerge Google local listings.

Step 1: Claim the listing

Unclaimed Listing

Unclaimed Listing

If the listing is unclaimed then fix the listing and then claim the listing. You can tell by the portion that says, “Edit this place – Business Owner?” that the listing is unclaimed.


Claimed Listing

Claimed Local Listing - Owner Verified

If the listing is claimed then first fix it in your Google Places. You can tell it’s claimed by the owner-verified check at that top.  If you have not claimed the listing and it says owner verified then you will want to claim the listing for yourself.  Simply click on the text “Owner Verified” and it will take you to Google places.  You can create your profile there and claim your listings.

Step 2: Correcting the information elsewhere

Because Google is relying on other sources for their listings you must go to those other sources. The best way to unmerge the listing is go to the primary source of all local listings: InfoUSA If you two businesses with similar addresses then enter in both businesses.  BE WARNED: This is a sure fire way to increase your phone calls! But they are not the phone calls you want as InfoUSA will sell your information to businesses that solicit other businesses.  So your calls will increase, but mainly because of solicitors. Overall the best fix is going to the root of local business listings.

BUT…

But this may not fix all of your woes.  Changing it at the source may not delete previous errors.  If Kudzu.com picked up the old address they are not going to purge their system with the new info.  They simply keep adding to the pile.  So if your incorrect information keeps getting feed back into google’s bots, google will continue to add and merge.  This may make your work a little more tedious.  You may need to search out and destroy all of the bad addresses for your business on the net.  You may need to pick up a phone and call Kudzu.com to have the information corrected or removed.

Another example, the Las Vegas phone book has an old address published for Bulwark Exterminating in Las Vegas.  To correct this I need to contact the Las Vegas yellow pages.  Affiliate Marketers may also cause mergers and confusion in the maps. If this happens to you, don’t be fooled, they caused it! They can fix it. The simplest fix is to tell them to remove their listing all together from google maps.  I don’t think Google intended for the maps to be filled with affiliate marketers, …despite what shows in the search. This may be a scary thought for you as you don’t want to loose potential business from their spam listings.  But continuing to allow them to list in the maps means you are paying for a listings that you should be able to achieve yourself for free. Further, you are adding to and promoting the growth of the internet marketing cesspool. Let’s keep it clean for everyone’s sake.

Step 3: Wait for it.

Google will not make or show adjustments immediately. Some updates will take place very quickly.  Within hours or a couple of days.  But most will take much longer. Give it 3 to 12 weeks.  But these 3 steps should solve your merging problems.  If they do not then move on to Step 4.

Step 4: Last Resort: Create a new listing.

If Step 1-3 do not fix your problem after 3 to 12 weeks then you may attempt to create a new listing all together.  Make sure that you still follow Step 2 so that other sources are mimicking your business information.  Unfortunately without these outside references your business listing will not stick.

Just to sum it up…

Unmerging Local Listings is not easy and it will take time, but it will work.

If you need help please feel free to email me < >.  I have had to unmerge several of Bulwark’s listings.  There are also a few other tidbits I could provide you with…

Make it a Great Day!