When Bing first came out, we at Chicago Style SEO immediately went in to claim our local listings (as everyone concerned with their web site’s SEO should do for all search engines and directories). I was a bit displeased when I went in to find that Bing was going to mail me a postcard with a pin number on it rather than what has become the common practice of doing the process by phone.
Google’s Imperfect Local Listing Claiming System
Take Google for example. If you want to claim a Google Local listing, you search for the business or enter a new business into their system. The final step in the process is for you to prove you are connected to the business. It only makes sense?you don’t want your competitors claiming your business and then saying you don’t accept credit cards, have no phone number, have no parking, and have the business hours of 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. So, Google gives you call and gives you a pin number. You then have to type the pin number into Google’s system, thereby proving you have some connection to the company since you can answer their phone.
I thought about Bing’s system of mailing the pin and decided that it did make a bit more sense to do the mailing since a phone number does not necessarily have any connection to a location. (Not like when I was a kid with rotary dial phones that had cords!) In Google’s system, the listing is put in their map system, but the phone number not only is not connected to a physical location, but can also be changed in the listing after it is confirmed, as can the address. So, Google’s system isn’t perfect, and it seemed like Bing was trying to get more accurate information by sending post cards.
So yesterday, while working for a client, I went into Bing to claim the client’s local listing and found that Bing now allows for phone confirmation. It’s just a slight twist on Google’s system. Bing gives you a pin and then calls the business’ number. You then have to enter the pin into the phone. It worked like a charm for our client.
I Still Haven’t Received My Bing Postcard
Since I’m still waiting for my Bing postcard, I decided that Bing has smart people working for them…they must allow people waiting for the postcards to go in and use the new phone system. I looked and looked and couldn’t find a way to “cancel” the post card and use the phone system. It appears to me that there is no way of changing from the postcard to the phone system. The curse of early adopters I guess.
<sigh> Come on post office! Or mayby the whole reason they changed the system is Bing couldn’t get the postcards out quickly enough? Who knows…I just know I want to claim my business with Bing and can’t.