Doug Cooper

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I work at an agency and we have big name clients that have a lot of locations. Often when I log into the dashboard they'll be a lot of locations with "Published (1 update)".

I've tried fixing them in the dashboard, fixing it on the GMB page, called local support, etc. My updates never stick. This has been going on for weeks. Has anyone else dealt with this issue? It's starting to become a big problem because customers are showing up to our client's locations during closed hours and demanding that they open based on what is showing on Google. They're threatening to go to local news outlets and everything.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Doug, it's hard to wrap the mind around it but the GMB(L) dash is just one source of trusted data, and it's not necessarily the most trusted. Google looks to other sources of data such as IYP's, government records...etc. More often than not if the data outside the GMB is different than Google will override the GMB data.

Can you share some examples of what keeps changing?
 

Doug Cooper

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It's the hours of a bank. I probably can't share a screenshot or anything.

Google shows them closing at 2pm on Saturdays. They actually close at 1pm. So customers are showing up after 1pm pissed that they can't get in.

This client also has all of their locations in Yext and the hours in the dashboard are the correct hours. So it's pushing out the correct data to the publishers on Yext. So major IYP's and such should be ok. I haven't really deep dived or Google-fu'd to find out what sources have the business closing at 2pm. Is this something I should start doing? This client has almost 400 locations nationwide with about half of them needing updates resolved in GMBL. It would be a pain in the ***, but at least I would have something to go on and relay to the client.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes, Doug, unfortunately Colan is right.

One thing to know about Google Local bots (which is likely what's at play here) is they don't make stuff up or change things just to frustrate us. They are getting that data from somewhere. Maybe even a high authority site like the Chamber or BBB.

Many businesses are set it and forget it and don't keep their data up to date, so I think that's why Google cranks the dial too high in favor of 3rd party data. But it would be nice if she would not make changes to listings that show recent edits, so therefore are actively managed.

I think you need to do searches for "Business name" "City" "2:00" in quotes and similar, like replacing "2 PM".

Big PIA for lots of locations but that's the only way I know of to handle it. I mean you could add Moz Local to the mix, but the site(s) causing the problem may not even be the ones Moz and Yext take care of.

Or you could just hire someone like Whitespark to deal with it. That's what I would do. They have the tools and do citation clean up all day long, so know all the tricks.
 

Doug Cooper

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Yes, Doug, unfortunately Colan is right.

One thing to know about Google Local bots (which is likely what's at play here) is they don't make stuff up or change things just to frustrate us. They are getting that data from somewhere. Maybe even a high authority site like the Chamber or BBB.

Many businesses are set it and forget it and don't keep their data up to date, so I think that's why Google cranks the dial too high in favor of 3rd party data. But it would be nice if she would not make changes to listings that show recent edits, so therefore are actively managed.

I think you need to do searches for "Business name" "City" "2:00" in quotes and similar, like replacing "2 PM".

Big PIA for lots of locations but that's the only way I know of to handle it. I mean you could add Moz Local to the mix, but the site(s) causing the problem may not even be the ones Moz and Yext take care of.

Or you could just hire someone like Whitespark to deal with it. That's what I would do. They have the tools and do citation clean up all day long, so know all the tricks.

Hi Doug,

I would take a look at the Data Aggregators, which I don't think Yext deals with.

Have you double checked the official business website to make sure the hours are accurate there?

Thanks for the help guys. At least I have some information I can relay back to the client. I have some other local clients on Moz Local which is how I submit and clean up the other data aggregators. I might make a recommendation for this client to do the same. At least for the locations we're having issues with. I currently use Whitespark as well for our citation building. I would have to see if there's enough room in our retainers for Whitespark clean up.
 

Linda Buquet

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For your problem children, maybe shift Whitespark efforts from citation building to citation clean up.
 

Doug Cooper

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I would but can't because of how the contract is written. So it would have to be an added cost. Definitely going to rework the SOW for the renewal.
 
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Hi, Doug.

Jumping in here from Yext. We already submit your data to Factual and a bunch of other places that the Data Aggregators themselves use as source data, so we should talk and figure out what is going on here.

Do you mind emailing me at christian@yext.com and I'll get our Account Management team on this too? This should not be happening, and it once again highlights that Google and other sites are the final arbiters choosing what stays and what goes in terms of data.

Thanks,

Christian J. Ward
EVP, Partnerships
Yext
 

Doug Cooper

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Hi Christian,

Our account rep for this particular account is Vivien. Should I have been reaching out to her? I can email you as well if needed.
 
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Yes, Definitely!

Vivien is the right person to be working with on this.

While we don't control Google, (no one does), our team can and should help with diagnosing the situation and trying to solve this.

Please reach out to her, and you've got my email too. Happy to help, and keep me posted.

Thanks!
 

JoyHawkins

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Doug,

Is the hours issue recent? There was an hours bug that I saw impacting several businesses but I think it's been fixed now. I would suggest checking the MapMaker record to confirm the hour changes are coming from a bot and not a human user.
 
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