Introduction to Publishers | Yext Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- Introduction to third-party publishers
- The different types of publishers
- What the “Long-Tail” is and why it matters
What is a Publisher?
Publishers are digital services that display 3rd party data about a business. They are the 3rd-party services that power a business’ listings.
Almost all Publishers have a few things in common:
- They are consumer facing
- They have the ability for users to search and a corresponding search results page called a SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
- They have a proprietary algorithm that determines the results of the search
- They combine data from a variety of sources, but prefer data straight from the business
Here are a couple example listings on different Publishers for the Yext headquarters:
Publishers come in all shapes and sizes, including:
- Search Engines like Google and Bing
- Online Directories like YP.com and Yelp
- Voice Assistants like Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Home
- Maps/GPS Systems like Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, and Uber
- Social like Facebook, Foursquare, and Instagram
- Apps like WhereTo and Avantar
- Verticalized Directories like those for Food Service (Zomato, OpenTable) or for Doctors and Health Systems (Vitals.com or ZocDoc)
The Publisher ecosystem is complicated and nuanced. New publishers arise while others wane in popularity. Each site has its own set of requirements, and some sites only allow brands to manage their data directly through authorized third-parties like Yext.
The “Long Tail” and why it matters
Each publisher serves an audience and a purpose. It’s critical to make sure that your brand has coverage no matter where a consumer is searching. It’s easy to say “My information is right on Google, so that’s all that matters,” but this is wrong. Over 10% of searches happen outside of big publishers like Google, Bing, Facebook or Apple, and it’s important that the information about your business is accurate 100% of the time, no matter where your customers are searching for it.
The “Long Tail” refers to publishers that receive a lower volume of traffic in search than some of the larger publishers like Google, Bing, Facebook or Apple. These publishers could be serving a specific geography, specific use case, or specific vertical.
Consider this scenario: Let’s say you have a franchisee who is using an off-brand logo, not following customer service standards, and delivering a subpar product with your name on it. Would you sit back and relax because, “Oh, that franchisee is just the long tail of our locations”?
Of course not! You would fix the situation. And that’s just what your brand needs to do with the long tail of publishers today: manage your brand.
Additionally, inconsistency across your listings can hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google and other search engines factor in the consistency of data when determining where businesses show up in search. Imagine asking ten different people a question and receiving ten different answers: you can’t have real confidence in any of them. Search engines work the same way. Having consistent, accurate data not only helps provide a positive brand experience, but it also helps your brand show up higher in search.