Introduction to Listings| Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- What a listing is
- The different types of listings
- The anatomy of a listing
What is a listing?
Remember when you used to use a printed YellowPages to find a local business or restaurant? The term “listing” came from that experience, because you would literally page through lists of every business. Well, things have changed!
Instead of searching for your business in a printed book, your customers now are searching online. Consumers today can ask a variety of questions about your brand on third-party sites like Google, Apple Maps, Siri, and more.
Your listings allow you to help answer their questions. For example, when someone asks what time you are open on New Years Eve, where your nearest location is, which category you are in, or what your phone number is – these are all facts that you can power directly from your listings.
In addition to answering consumers’ questions about your brand, your listings also help your brand show up in search. Every day consumers search for things like:
- “hotel near me with free wifi and complimentary breakfast?”
- “events for kids in Chicago”
- “best wealth advisor in Sante Fe who specializes in retirement”
How can search engines, maps, and other voice assistants display your brand as an option if they don’t know that you offer free wifi and complimentary breakfast, that you have an event in Chicago that’s good for kids, or that you are a highly rated wealth advisor specializing in retirement? Your listings power these types of facts, which ultimately help answer consumers’ questions at their moments of intent.
Each third-party has their own algorithm (which results do they show?) and their own way of displaying listings on their search results pages (otherwise known as a SERP). Whether you search for a hardware store, Italian restaurant, Podiatrist, country music event, or any other business entity on Google, Bing, Alexa, Siri, Yahoo, Facebook, or any other online directory, you are searching for a listing.
We call the online directories of listings Publishers. You will learn more about Publishers in Unit 2: Introduction to Publishers.
Examples of listings
While the historical YellowPages were much more focused around locations, today’s publishers surface data for all types of entities for brands, including (but not limited to):
And more. Publishers are constantly expanding the entities based upon what consumers are searching for to provide a better customer experience.
The anatomy of a listing
Listings often contain the core information about an entity, and can even feature additional content like reviews. In the screenshot below, you’ll notice the highlighted core information on Google.
The core information varies by entity type and even by publisher — for Locations, Address and Phone number are standard fields, while for Doctors, NPI (National Provider Identifier) and education information may be required. Because the exact data supported varies by publisher and evolves over time, it can be quite cumbersome to manage your different listings across the web. It’s important to have a flexible and purpose-built data management system for managing your listings, which we will cover in detail later.