Continuing our conversation….

Q. How does UniversalBusinessListings.org (UBL)  differ from many of the other sites/services that offer business listings?

A.  Primarily this is an industry initiative, where the data is not owned by anybody other than the non-profit .Org and will never be sold. Our understanding is that other companies provide something like this as part of their more lucrative marketing & advertising programs. We have already had approaches from some companies like this who will happily
let UBL do this aspect of the service while they focus on other areas; the advantage of being a single-purpose entity is that you can focus on doing that one thing more cost-efficiently than anyone else. Generally, we want to work with the established industry segments, not compete with them.

Q. To wrap up, what do you see as “wrong” or needing improvement within local search?

A. Name, address and phone numbers just don’t cut it anymore. If you want your business to be found, listings need to have the enhanced attributes and detailed information that will ensure your business is ranking and displayed accurately in the Directories and Search Engines. People search by keywords, features and brands now this has made Search Engines more important, and now we are finding social networking increasingly being a word-of-mouth forum that leads to commerce. Local Search needs to react like they are now in the Social ID business.

More specifically, the free listing process is time-consuming, confusing, inefficient and open to abuse from listing spam. The modest fee we charge eliminates most of these concerns. Currently, publishers are commonly showing old data, duplicate data or incomplete data and the businesses have a hard time getting their submission to take hold. This is one reason why we ask them to confirm that the UBL listing is their Default listing the way they want to be seen everywhere. Plus we let them change the data any time they want we update it every day but there is still no guarantee when the sites will integrate it.

Finally, the CMRs and SEOs are currently under-served in this whole process for the same reasons mentioned above. We want to make their lives easier and ensure that their clients see the value in working through their reps to get this job done. At least with CMRs we allowthem block any competing submissions from specific companies – as long as they get to UBL first.

Thanks Chris for your time and good luck with the new service.