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Aug 23, 2014
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I just saw Phil Rozek post this on G+ yesterday:

"Looks like CitySearch has been gobbled up by Yext. Now if you go to claim a listing you'll be redirected to Yext (whereas you used to be able to claim via CityGrid).

I seem to remember +Greg Sterling's making a prediction like this (that Yext would acquire or at least partner with IAC), which appears to be playing out.

Besides making sure your listings on are squared away, now it looks like the only way to exert any control over your CitySearch listings is to email them or to call them at (800) 611-4827.
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Thanks for the update Joy. I have strong feelings and opinions about this. I just deleted them.
I imagine a future where a lot of these directories become "closed" and operate through Yext and other partners. Unfortunately, this looks likely because in effect, Yext is probably making more money than them and the directories themselves aren't making significant revenues.

This nexus is bad news for small businesses on a budget.
I can see this getting heating up. Please everyone remember we do not allow attacks, libel or defamatory comments here.

Factual and even tempered opinions are fine. But derogatory comments without basis, fact or first hand experience are not helpful.

I just removed a new post for that reason.

Thanks for understanding, as we try to keep a positive solution-focused environment for everyone.

The good news is that CitySearch is usually responsive to edit requests. So unless and until they get flooded with requests, business owners do have a paddle.

I'm also of the school of thought that a super-tidy citation profile just doesn't matter as much as we think.
Oh no Cody. You are fine, it was not your post. It was a brand new user that just joined today.
This makes sense - InsiderPages made this switch a few months ago. I would expect that CityGrid will do the same thing any day (although they appear to have refreshed their site and I'm finding it very confusing).

As we posted a few weeks ago on our blog, it looks like all the IAC properties are getting their listing information directly from InfoGroup ( The adds/updates we put in expressupdate are showing up on the three IAC properties within days.
I'm a little biased because I use Yext, so personally I think this is a good addition.

Personal thoughts aside, I think if I was a small business owner on a budget I could definitely see a problem here. As sites make it tougher to manually claim, I definitely understand the frustration from the other side of the table. I think as long as they keep some kind of door open for the availability for a basic listing, it shouldn't be as big of a deal. Emailing them will most likely get you through to a sales rep to try and upsell you, or simply build the basic profile.

Does this "powered by Yext" status mean other citation building companies like Whitespark and Bright Local will no longer be able to update this listing for businesses? If they're not completely blocked, and there are alternative ways to do this, then I really don't think it's as big of a deal.
@Eric, I think it's actually a larger issue - the industry tells SMBs that they must have "clean" citations or it negatively impacts their SEO. But how many of these citations are really relevant? If sites such as CitySearch/InsiderPages are no longer taking direct feeds and can only be updated via 3rd parties, that's not a high bar for quality in my opinion.

We scare SMBs and put FUD into this process by telling them they need to be listed on EVERY citation site. If an SMB adds their NAP to Google My Business, Yelp,, Foursquare, InfoGroup, Acxiom, Localeze, Factual and then perhaps 1-2 vertical and community based citation sites, what else do they need? These are the most heavily trafficked and authoritative citation sites.

The issue I have with Yext in this equation (if it's true) is that apparently once you stop paying for Yext the "hold" they have with all these citation sites is lifted and your listing goes back to the way it was before you started with them. That seems a bit extortive to me - if I pay a service to fix my listing on X number of sites, I expect that the database at the end citation site has been updated. I'm not saying the database couldn't be changed later after the fact, but it shouldn't be changed by Yext.
Linda, Andrew, Dan, Darren, Phil, and Joy,

Can I ask a question? Do you release citation passwords and account information to clients when they leave your services? Would you ever change citation work back to the way it was prior to hiring your firms? Could there be a question of ethics if what someone paid for was taken from them a year later without a contract renewal?
Linda, Andrew, Dan, Darren, Phil, and Joy,

Can I ask a question? Do you release citation passwords and account information to clients when they leave your services? Would you ever change citation work back to the way it was prior to hiring your firms? Could there be a question of ethics if what someone paid for was taken from them a year later without a contract renewal?

Cody I have not had clients for 3 years but of course none of us would. I know what you are getting at and it's been hashed over here several times.

"Would you ever change citation work back to the way it was prior to hiring your firms?"

Of course not but Yext does not do that either. People misunderstand what happens.

It's like - if you pay for a Yahoo banner ad. Then you cancel and stop paying. The service you were paying for stops too right? Yahoo won't keep running your banner for free after you quit.

With Yext they don't revert any data. When you cancel they just stop protecting your corrected data. The various publishers then each have their own rules about what happens to your data after that.

So Yext just stops the service you pay for. They don't maliciously change your data back.

So using your example and question Cody - are you going to keep building citations and keep offering the same service after the client cancels and stops paying you?
Here is what Christian from Yext wrote in another post:

"On the question of what happens if you cancel, basically Yext stops feeding publishers data and releases the 'Lock' on your listing so the publishers' processes take over and they take over responsibility for your information. Quoting from one of our old blog posts on "How Yext Works"...

The simple answer to each of these questions is that effectively, the Lock comes off. What that means is that the NAP is not deleted or removed by Yext, but the Lock that was put in place to protect the business listing is no longer present. Once this occurs, the business listing is subject to the normal compilation process at the search engine, online directory, mobile app, or social network. In fact, because Yext no longer has this lock in place, Yext has no control over the listing directly at all, and the business listing data will now act as it normally would occur without Yext."

Lots more info below and Christian's post with lots more info and some links with more details starts at post #11.

<a href="">Best Practices For Transitioning Client Away From Yext</a>
Closing this thread due to several issues that have come up.

But for the record...

FYI some are saying Citysearch was sold to Yext. They didn't sell to Yext and Yext didn't do anything to cause Citysearch to change what they are doing. They just saw the Yext tool for claiming and liked it and wanted to try it. That's the truth of what happened.

As Phil stated over in his G+ post you can still edit data at CitySearch.
Sweet answer. Not trying to stir hornets nest. I think a direct approach listing pros and cons works best.

I love the yext tool for getting a quick citation audit to present to potential clients. I even paid the 375 year just to have it until David joined moz. Now I use that tool. I love how yext can push coupons and offers in a flash to all sites. I'm very interested in their tool to help multi locations push content to location pages. Complete API connectivity is the future IMO. I will also say that the day yext leaves data at the end of the agreement - I will quit doing citations and sub all work to yext. I'd even pay up to 4 to 10 times the 399 because it would save me money.
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