The Cost of Bad Location Data

You may have seen the news earlier this week that Greg Sterling and I have determined that bad business listing data may be costing US businesses $10 billion.

To provide more context for that number, Yext has just published the first issue of the Yext Quarterly (aka “YQ”), subtitled “The State of Location”.  The report was produced by myself and Greg for Yext to provide local marketers with  information on critical issues related to business location data, some local search marketing tips and some insights into the future of local search.  We even scored the actual last interview (we think) with Andrew Mason as CEO of Groupon, despite what other page-view-driven media outlets may claim.

Here’s Yext’s blog post announcing YQ.  Take a look and let me know either in the comments or via Twitter what you think.

Some of the media have also written pieces on the data from our consumer survey on local search behavior:

Financial Times: Online Data Errors Cost US Businesses $10B

VentureBeat: Outdated Online Listings Lead to $10.3B Loss for Business

BusinessInsider: An Interview With Andrew Mason (nice SEO’d title @HenryBlodget :))

Greg Sterling: The High Cost of Missing Business Listings


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10 Response Comments

  • Jason Keeler  March 7, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I don’t doubt this at all – small businesses often times don’t even bother to claim their Yelp! or Manta listings. Big problem for online reputation management as well…

  • Sol Orwell  March 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Interesting. It may have generated links, but none of the various pages (you, Sterling, Yext) seems to have had any traction in the social space.

    Not saying that is good/bad/relevant, just an observation.

    • Andrew Shotland  March 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

      We haven’t really pimped out the social promotion on this as we got a number of big media hits on Monday before the report was published. But feel free to pimp away 🙂

  • Phil Rozek  March 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Where does probably $9B of that go? I’m guessing the answer begins with “Ad” and ends with “Words.” 🙂

    Very cool-sounding study, Andrew. Looking forward to going through it.

  • Steve Wilks  March 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    So, logically, if it is costing US business $10B, you must be expecting to take the $10B from someone, and give it to someone else ? Or are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that by improving business listing data – you will increase total business turnover by $10B ????? So, please tell me what you REALLY mean !!!!

    • Andrew Shotland  March 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      We were suggesting that the money could go to your competition. And I heard the other day that every time a pope retires, people start adding extra question marks and exclamation points. Weird.

  • Cady Haren  March 13, 2013 at 6:04 am

    $10 billion!! That is an aweful lot of money to be going down the drain. Totally agree with Jason Keller’s statement that most small businesses don’t bother to have local listings or even their own websites.

    Either they are ignorant of the changes happening in the digital market or they still don’t know the potential the local business marketing holds.

  • Suzanne Delzio  March 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Maybe small businesses aren’t claiming their listings because internet marketers like us can’t find a way to monetize it ethically? It’s so easy and we tell them to claim their listings until we’re blue in the face, BUT they still seem intimidated by the process. Agree? Disagree?

    • Andrew Shotland  March 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      It’s like anything else a biz has to do. If it’s not the priority, it’s hard to find the time. That said, if anyone needs help claiming profiles, feel free to ping me as we provide that service.

  • John Breerwood  March 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

    It is fascinating that many businesses overlook something as important updating their information and basic services in the digital age. It seems that some businesses are quick to usher potential customers to the website while not maintaining their site properly. Perhaps their focusing more on social media for up-to-date posts.