Some “experts” might tell you that all data aggregators are the same. After all, a citation is a citation. But is that really the case? Are citations just like publicity; even if it’s bad, it’s still publicity? Well, no!
You’ve heard me talk about bad data before, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I cannot stress enough the importance of having clean data. Citations have to be accurate in order to be useful to potential customers and local businesses. Inaccurate data can actually hurta business. So no, not all citations are created equal – and not all data aggregators are created equal, either.
Today, I want to explore the key data aggregators in the United States: Neustar Localeze, Factual, Infogroup and Acxiom, as well as the main differences between them. Before we go too much into that, let’s start with the basics.
What Is a Data Aggregator?
Data aggregators are data mining systems used to distribute a business’ information online. They are responsible for getting NAP (name, address and phone number) data from a business out to a multitude of online sources, including search engines.
The good thing about data aggregators is that they are great at helping a business get found online by increasing the business’ reach. However, they cannot always differentiate between clean and dirty data.
Data aggregators are a key component of local presence management. Consistent monitoring of a business’ online presence is essential to keep potential customers from losing trust. According to Bright Local’s Local Citations Trust Report 80 percent of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see inconsistent or incorrect contact details online. Fortunately, at Advice Local, we help local businesses get found online every single day. Request a demo today to see how we do it.
Now that I’ve given you the cliff notes on data aggs, let’s move forward.
The Deets on Data Aggregators
Advice Local has always been on a quest to find our partners the best options for managing the local presence of their clients. We started the year comparing online directories. Now it’s data aggregators’ turn.
Like I said before, there are four main data aggregators in the United States. Below is the 411 on the information I was able to gather from them.
- They distribute data to over 90 search platforms, directories, navigation services, mobile apps and social sites.
- They allow additional data in each listing, including hours, products and services.
- They care about clean data! They go the extra mile to validate the data submitted against over 300 authoritative data sources to ensure consistency and accuracy.
- They’ve been in business for over 12 years – or an eternity, in online years.
The extra toppings:
- Neustar Localeze provides caller identification services for 90 percent of the U.S. market, which allows them to verify the open/closed status of a business and its key attributes via physical phone installs and call pattern activity.
Why we love them: Localeze provides real-time updates! You know I’m all about getting real results, really fast and in real time. I love that Localeze makes it easy for our teams at Advice Local to achieve that. Another great proof submitting to Neustar Localeze is that the business information is immediately available on any Alexa devices. Talk about voice-search ready!
Thoughts from the company: “With the many sources of data in the local search ecosystem that affect your business listing, it’s critical that business owners work with a partner to comprehensively manage their listings across the local search ecosystem. It is important to not only syndicate your information on a regular and timely basis, but to also eradicate any outdated data that’s out there.”
- They distribute data to over 75 local search companies, search engines, and over 200 distribution partners through online private labeled solutions and directory publishers.
- Acxiom Corporation (aka LiveRamp) has been providing robust and fresh local business listings to consumers for over 40 years. That’s a lotof experience in the local industry.
- They allow clients to combine customer data from various online and offline sources.
The extra toppings:
- Acxiom offers many different services to help local businesses, including data enhancement and data hygiene.
Why we love them: They’ve been around for-e-ver – internationally, too! – so they really know what they’re doing when it comes to local business data.
Thoughts from the company: “Acxiom Presence Management is an innovative data solution that enables businesses to control their business listing information across all media effectively, conveniently and at a minimal cost – whether they have 10 locations or 2,000 locations. As a result, the business garners more traffic – more walk-ins, more phone calls and more website visits.”
- It’s a one-stop shop for distribution to main publishers in the local search and navigation space.
- Main publishers prioritize Infogroup’s data on their sites. They love how accurate and clean the data is.
- They focus on the main data, like NAP, but also allow businesses to share over 40 additional attributes, including hours of operation, types of payment accepted, website URL, social media links and even photos.
- They license data to over 60 clients in the search, navigation and mobile industries – approximately 95 percent of search traffic.
The extra toppings:
- Infogroup has a dedicated team that manually researches and verifies information to ensure its accuracy.
Why we love them: They are obsessed with clean data, just like I am! Their team is dedicated to helping local businesses get found online.
Thoughts from the company: “High quality and accurate data are critical factors for modern marketers. Infogroup’s obsession with having the cleanest and most accurate data is just one of the reasons why our publisher partners trust us to deliver in this area. Not only do we clean the address, standardize the address, name and category, but we also add additional firmographic selections to the profile. For example: hours of operation, payment types accepted, URL, social media links, photos and menus that greatly improve a business’s visibility on the publisher’s sites.”
- They are global! Factual has a presence in over 50 countries.
- They provide real-time data to mobile systems.
- They focus on location data.
- Their publishers include Weather Channel, Yelp, Apple products, Bing, Facebook and Uber.
- They maintain data for more than 100 million local businesses and points of interest.
The extra toppings:
- Factual offers additional products, like Geopulse, a location-based solution built for advertising.
Why we love them: They have a Trusted Data Contributor program, which makes submitting data to them a breeze!
Thoughts from the company: “Data has generally been seen as a side effect in computing, the exhaust generated by software that is often ignored. We see data as a whole separate layer that everyone should be able to tap into to solve everyday problems. If all data was clean, trusted, and accessible, innovation would thrive and the most positive actors in our society would be rewarded.”
I want to answer the question I originally asked: are all data aggregators made the same? The simple answer is no. You’ve seen their differences above. So, which one should local businesses submit to? The simple answer is all of them.
The more people are aware of a business’ contact information, the more chances the business has of getting found online. That’s it. There’s no magic trick, other than the ones that we use to help local businesses improve their online visibility every single day. Request a demo today to be part of the magic!