Location data management platform Yext today announced a new integration with Google that will allow the company to offer real-time updates to both its SMB and enterprise customers across Google’s suite of listings. The integration eliminates manual submission, and allows businesses of all sizes to instantly adjust how their information appears in the search engine’s results.
Google released the Google My Business API in December to a number of listings management companies, and over the past couple of months Yext has extended that service to 100,000 enterprise locations. Today’s full integration in PowerListings further extends that functionality to all of the company’s channel partners and SMB customers.
“It’s really cool that Google is finally asking businesses for this information rather than looking to a third-party source for it,” said Yext’s marketing director Liz Walton. “In particular, they’re looking for that real-time information, like the hours-of-operation that might change during a holiday or a snowstorm. Businesses really value that, but Google also really values that they can offer the best data to their users.”
While a number of approved partners have had access to the Google My Business API since December, Walton says that the key to this new announcement is that Yext’s software allows the company to manage those listings at scale and support real-time updating: “You can make changes that will instantly be reflected across Google My Business, search, maps and ads.”
“We’ve been talking to Google forever,” said Walton. “Obviously they’re a big player in the space, and we have a great relationship with them — but I think the question is: ‘Why did they open up this integration now?’ I think there’s some long-term vision here and also some short-term wins. For them, the better data they have, the more people will use their services — and that’s their goal in selling advertising against it. So if it’s real-time and dynamic, you can get more eyeballs on it.
“The long-term vision, though, is that we have a future with driverless cars. And if the maps aren’t good enough, it’ll never really come to fruition. So I think there’s also the long game here where they need to get the infrastructure in place to be able to build those kinds of maps.”
Listings management, which has certainly been a hot category in local in recent years, has on some level become commoditized. As more players have waded into the field, companies have sought to differentiate themselves by adding a wider suite of services and functionality.
David Hirschman is a co-founder of Street Fight.
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