How Listings & Knowledge Graph Work Together | Yext Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- How the Knowledge Graph sends data to Listings
- How changes in the Knowledge Graph trigger updates to Listings
- How our exporter works and is unique to each publisher
How does a Knowledge Graph help with Listings?
A Knowledge Graph is a centralized place for you to store all the consumer-facing facts about your brand. Imagine having to update each publisher manually each time your data changes — it would be an operational nightmare! How would you even keep track of which change needs to be made on which site? Depending on how big your brand is, you might never be able to keep up with the rate of change, and your data wouldn’t be accurate for your consumers. If you need to manage over 170+ different endpoints (publishers), you need a tool that will allow you to manage your data all in one place that can easily help you to update once, update everywhere.
Yext’s Knowledge Graph is purpose-built for Listings Management, providing all of the built-in Entity Types and accompanying fields necessary to sync data to all the publishers in the Knowledge Network. Each of the built-in fields has validation optimized for the Knowledge Network and is set up out-of-the-box for syncing to publishers without any additional data mapping required on your end. By structuring the data in the Graph, Yext is able to transform your structured data into the structure and formats that each publisher accepts.
Managing the Complexity: Publisher Exporters
When you make an update in the Yext Knowledge Graph, we send that updated data to the publisher, often in real-time. Yext’s technology takes the onus off of the brand to know the specific rules, requirements and data transformation for each publisher — of which there are a lot.
Take just the Address field — Yext has tens of thousands of lines of code that represents the unique way each of our Location Listing publishers require that we send address data. Some want Address 2 separated from Address 1 while others don’t. Some want the Extra Address Line appended to the Address Line 1, others to its own field. Some prefer abbreviations for things like “Road” to “Rd” while others want the word fully spelled out. Some require that you provide the government-issued city name instead of any abbreviations. We haven’t even started to cover the country by country nuances. We have some publishers that require the ISO Region code in some countries, but explicitly don’t allow the ISO Region code in others. The list goes on.
With all that said, you may be thinking, how does Yext handle all of this publisher specific logic? Well, we maintain publisher-specific Exporters that do things like:
- Keep track of which fields to send to the publisher from the Knowledge Graph.
- Transform the data to meet that publisher’s specifications.
- Send the data to the publisher in their specifications.
Each publisher exporter is assigned a dedicated integration engineer and operations manager at Yext to keep up with all the changes, work with the publisher to improve integrations, and monitor for any errors or performance issues.
What does an update look like behind the scenes?
Here’s a diagram of this flow for Google, Facebook and YP.com as examples:
As information is entered by a user into the Knowledge Graph, we route the data to a system that processes all updates and routes the update to the relevant Exporters (e.g., if an update is made on an Event, the Router will only Route the change to Event Publisher Exporters).
The publisher-specific Exporter sends the data to the publisher’s system in their specified format. In most cases, the publisher’s system will reply with a receipt acknowledging they’ve received the update and the status (e.g., update successful or error message if applicable). We then process the receipt, and reflect the success or error directly in the Yext platform by updating the status of that listing in the platform. The publisher’s systems will then send the update to their consumer-facing site. This last step is immediate for some publishers, who retrieve the information in real-time from their databases that Yext updates; for other publishers, there can be a short delay if the publisher has to route the update through any further data pipelines.
The good news is that you don’t need to worry about any of that! Yext does all of this work for you. You can just enter information into the Knowledge Graph, and Yext will take care of the rest. If a field is filled out in the Knowledge Graph and can be synced to a publisher, Yext will sync that data.