More threads by Travis Van Slooten

Jul 18, 2012
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I've been doing manual citation work for a client who insists on hiding his business address, which is his home address (he's a home service contractor). I've only been submitting to sources that either allow you to hide the address or leave the address field blank. It's important to note that this is also an address change.

I stumbled upon a listing of his business on MapQuest today and it has his home address showing! I just started the citation work a week ago. I never touched MapQuest.

How was MapQuest able to have a listing created so quickly? All the info on the listing is accurate and up to date. Unfortunately, it's showing his home address now. I hope I can get the listing deleted or my client is going to freak, but I'm curious as to where MapQuest gets their data. They clearly pulled the data from a citation source I already created and they pulled the data "behind the scenes" as he has no other data sources online that publicly display his home address as his business address.

MapQuest gets their data from their own cartography data developed for its print publications, information from digital mapping companies like NavTech and TeleAtlas, and government databases like the one compiled by the U.S. Postal Service.
@mborgelt - so it isn't pulling data from any other source? I'm still perplexed how my client can have a listing so quickly when we haven't touched MapQuest and there is no record of this client's home address anywhere online (tied to his business anyway).
Looking at this, it appears that they have relationships with YP, InfoGroup, Neustar/Localeze, Yelp and City Grid.
Looking at this, it appears that they have relationships with YP, InfoGroup, Neustar/Localeze, Yelp and City Grid.

Thanks for that resource! I was trying to remember where I saw that before and couldn't remember.

This makes more sense. I did citations to all of those sources the first week out of the gate. But I'm still surprised about two things. I'm surprised at the speed at which MapQuest created the listing (or updated an existing listing), and I'm surprised that MapQuest was able to sniff out the data from "behind the scenes" as we have the address hidden on all sources.

The bigger question then is this - is it really possible to truly hide your address? If MapQuest can sniff it out and display it then the answer is no.

If you want to truly hide it then don't even enter it into the hidden fields.

MapQuest has relationships with those companies so they are getting data fed to them quite regularly that includes data that might not be visible to their customers/users. That's one of the primary ways data aggregators monetize their product.
A bit of insight on hiding street address as it can be tricky.

On one hand, for publishers that receive data from many sources, an address is critical for entity/identity resolution purposes. NAP data is always used by publishers to try and identify whether or not different listings, from different sources, are referring to the same business. When NAPs match 100% its a slam dunk. The issue is that they usually do not match 100%. As you can imagine address plays a very important role in this resolution process. Not to mention for mapping/navigation publishers, the location of a business is extremely important.

On the other hand, the business owner does not want folks showing up that their address. This could be due to the sensitive nature of the business or the sensitive location of the business (eg residence).

Do you go the pinky promise route? provide a publisher with your address, indicate it should be hidden, and trust that is exactly what will happen on their platform and anywhere they may distribute data to?

Or do you not give an address at all? this will create identify resolution challenges and potentially increase the chances of listing duplication.

Different platforms have different rules, but "most" of the time listings without addresses fall into the service area business(SAB) realm. Service area businesses typically have different identity resolution rules than a brick-n-mortar, professional/agent, machine/kiosk, or a department type listing. This is due to the challenge a missing address creates in the identify & verification spaces. SAB solutions are a bit behind other types of listings due these identification and verification challenges.

1) identity - are these referring to the same business? should the street address be published?
source 1 = Joe's Plumbing 123 Main St San Diego, Ca 92128 8584602400(landline)
source 2 = Joe's Plumbing & Water Mitigation Rancho Bernardo, Ca 92128 8584602422(mobile)
source 3 = Joe Smith Plumbing and Water Mitigation San Diego, Ca 92128 8584602400(landline)
source 4 = Joe Smith Plumber San Diego, Ca 92128 8584602422(mobile)

2) verification - does this business really serve the area they state they serve? how can this be verified?

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