MapQuest has begun informing account holders that their Local Business Center is on the way out. As of January 31, 2014, users will no longer be able to access listings information through their system.
Unsurprisingly, Yext is mentioned as the only alternative left for MapQuest users who want to directly edit their business information. Recent years have seen Yext virtually dominate the IYP market through a massive campaign that includes establishing partnerships with directory sites and working to remove functionality of said sites that allowed users to change their business information on an individual account basis.
MapQuest seems to be just one more in a long line of business data providers that can’t or won’t stand up to Yext. The email notification MapQuest sent to its users is essentially a promotional announcement for the Yext Premium Powerlistings service, leaving the loss of access through MapQuest’s own system as an afterthought.
I don’t see a problem with MapQuest adopting another (better) system to manage local business info, but I do see a problem with promoting a paid product or service within a message that just announced the cancellation of their own service that used to be free.
Original message from MapQuest:
We wanted to inform you that the basic version of the MapQuest Local Business Center (LBC) is shutting down. As of January 31, 2014, you will no longer be able to access your listings account within the basic version of the LBC. We have, however, continued our partnership with Yext, which gives us the opportunity to offer you an enhanced business listing with plenty of tools and features to help your business succeed.
With a Yext Premium Powerlistings account, you will be able to manage and edit your own business listing, monitor customer reviews, add enhanced content to your listing such as menus, product and service lists, calendars, promotions, hours of operation, staff bios, photos, and more, and also sync your Yext content to your business’ Facebook page. Package options vary. Upgrade to a premium package and make sure that your potential customers can continue to find you on the web.
Your Friends at MapQuest
MapQuest has been updating its look and functionality to be more useful in an attempt to regain its past popularity, but after a move like this it’s doubtful they are heading in the right direction. For many businesses Yext is not a good fit (some of their tactics border on extortion), and those businesses are happy to disregard MapQuest and focus on alternatives instead.