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Searching & Matching| Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • An overview of the Searching and Matching process
  • How Yext matches to Listings
  • How to manually review matches

Searching and Matching Overview

For our Location-Like Network only, Searching and Matching is a critical step in the Listings Launch process and the most time-consuming. During this phase, Yext wants to make sure that we are identifying whether a Listing already exists for the Entity and updating that existing Listing instead of creating any new Listings.

This step is also usually only relevant for Dual Sync publishers. Submission publishers tend to do the matching step on their own, which is one of the reasons that they do not provide any Listing Status receipt.

search and match step of listings sync flow

How Yext Searches Publisher Databases

Searching, also referred to as Scanning at Yext, uses the publisher’s Search APIs to search for the Entity in the publisher’s database for the purpose of matching and syncing to existing listings before we create any new ones. We call this “Running a Scan”.

We use a few different “search strategies” depending on the Entity Type when we run a scan. For example:

For Locations, we use:

  • Name + lat/lng
  • Name + Address
  • Name + Phone Number
  • Address + Phone Number

For Healthcare Professionals, we use:

  • First Name / Last Name + NPI
  • First Name / Last Name + Address
  • First Name / Last Name + Phone
  • Address + Phone Number

Depending on the number of entities and the number of publishers, the scan can take anywhere from a few seconds to several hours to pull back the results. Some publishers also have slower endpoints that may take up to several seconds per entity to provide a response — if you have thousands of entities this can add up.

How Yext Matches Listings

The results of our Search requests are called “Matches”. For each match, our algorithm assigns a score based on the likelihood that it is a “good match”. The algorithm takes things into consideration like the closeness of the core data fields like Name, Address, Lat/Lng, and Phone. If there are multiple “good matches” identified, Yext will identify what is the “best match” using tiebreakers like whether the listing is verified, the review count, the existence of any enhanced content, and so on.

In general, we pull in more potential matches, as sometimes this helps us to identify things like Address or Phone issues with the Entity information provided by the brand or previous brand names. Our team will communicate closely with you to review and record any discrepancies that come up during this phase.

Putting it Together

Let’s pretend like you are the business owner of “Awesome Business” located in New York. You are storing your data in the Knowledge Graph with the following information:

Name: Awesome Business Address: 525 E 13th St. New York, NY 10009 Phone: (312) 535-4525

You are ready to sync your Listings so we run a scan, let’s say on Google, Bing and Facebook. We hit their Search APIs, which behave much like the Sync APIs, except the “phone call” goes more like this:

Yext → Facebook:

“Hey Facebook, do you have a listing that looks like any of the following:

  • Name / Phone: Awesome Business (312) 535-4525
  • Name / Address: Awesome Business 525 E 13th St, New York, NY 10009
  • Address / Phone: 525 E 13th St, New York, NY 10009 (312) 535-4525

Please get back to us ASAP”

Facebook → Yext:

“Hey Yext, thanks for reaching out. It looks like we have 3 listings that might fit that:

  • Jason’s Psychic Center, 525 E 13th St, New York, NY 10009 (312) 535-4525
  • Awesome Business 525 E 13th St, New York, NY 10009 (312) 535-4525
  • U Break it Alex Will Fix it 121 1st Ave, New York, NY 10002 (312) 535-4525

Have a great day!”

example matching process

Facebook sent back three matches that had some form of similarity with your location, Awesome Business. However, only one of those matches is a good match. Yext will match to that Listing and then begin syncing the information.

In the diagram above, you can see that on Bing, there were no results that came back. In the instance where no matches are found, Yext will create a new listing here for your Awesome Business so that you can start getting found by customers on Bing!

Manually match your own Listings (SMBs only)

For our Enterprise customers, the Listings Sync process is a managed service that comes with the product. Matching to all of your listings manually would take you a long time.

If you’re a Small Business with one or just a few locations, you have the ability to review and select the matches for your Location listings. This option is only available for the first four hours after an entity is subscribed. At the end of the four hour period, Yext will take over to confirm the matches for you. So your Listings will still go Live if you don’t want to match and review the Listings manually.

You will still need to take steps for Listings that require Authentication, as you’ll need to link your account before we can pass any information to that site. These Listings will have a Set Up button next to them to prompt you to link your account.

To review and select the matches your Listings:

  1. Navigate to the Listings tab.
  2. Click on the Locations sub-tab. Listings that are eligible to be matched manually will be labeled with the Status Tasks Pending.
  3. Click on the Identify Listings button next to the desired listing. This will bring you to a page to review all potential matches.

Note that if you don’t see Identify Listings next to the sites marked as Tasks Pending, you may need to click on the drop-down button next to View Listing and click Identify Listing in the drop-down menu.

identify listing buttons

For each publisher, our system will automatically search for an existing Listing on that publisher site and surface the Listing that we think best represents your Location. For each publisher, you can review the match we have selected and confirm whether or not that Listing represents your Location. If we were unable to find a Listing on a publisher but you believe one exists, you can click Find Listing to search on the publisher site for an existing Listing.

review matches screen

Once you have finished reviewing any existing Listings, we will confirm these matches and start syncing data to your Listings!

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