The Joy (& Frustration) of Updating a Bing Local Listing

Filed in Bing, Local Search by Matt McGee on August 6, 2009 32 Comments

Bing Local, you almost had me at “your listing has been verified.” But now I’m learning that “verified” does not necessarily mean “updated.” And, even though all is well now, a little communication goes a long way when dealing with local business owners … or when dealing with people like me, who help local business owners.

Here’s the deal: I needed to update my wife’s business listing in Bing Local. After going through the process — which was a complete joy and very impressive in every way — I thought her listing would be updated right away. There was nothing to indicate otherwise. As it turns out, the listing was updated after almost a week; not bad at all, but there was nothing telling me it would take that long.

How to Update a Bing Local Listing

Really, this is easy and almost fun — a far cry from the rigamarole Google Maps makes you go through just for minor changes.

Step One: Update and Review Your Listing

When you login to the Bing Local Listing Center, all the normal options appear: Add a new listing, edit your current listing, etc. I was editing an existing listing, so that’s the path I chose. I updated the database fields that needed updating and took advantage of Bing’s invite to add a couple “supplemental web sites.” When I was done entering the correct info and confirming categories, Bing asked me to review Cari’s listing.

review

This is similar to how the other local listing centers operate, too; no big deal. It got interesting after this.

Step Two: Verify Your Changes

Step two involves Bing making sure you’re authorized to change the business listing. They ask if you want to verify the changes by phone or snail mail, or, in Bing’s language, “Fastest way” and “Other way.”

bing-verify

I’m as impatient as the next guy, so I chose “Fastest way.” I figured a phone call would be best, even though Cari was on her way out of town as I was doing this and may not answer her phone anytime in the following week. Bing came back with another question for me: How soon did I want a call?

binglistctr-5

Whoa! Now? Five minutes? 30 minutes? I wasn’t expecting that. I chose the five minute option and then quickly called Cari (who was at an airport waiting to board a plane) to let her know what the next incoming call would be. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her ringer turned up so she missed both my call and the one from Bing. The page I was looking at shared the bad news in red:

failed

No worries. Bing let me try again with the same time options. I texted her this time, asked her to call me, and finally explained what was going on. I told her the Bing call would come in right after we hung up the phone, then hit “Call Now” and crossed my fingers.

binglistctr-7

Saw the screen above for about 20 seconds, and then it instantly updated to this:

binglistctr-8

Hallelujah, that was fast and easy! I went out to look at her public listing and … what? The updates weren’t showing, even though we just verified everything.

Sure enough, back in the local listing center, Bing was telling me that the updates were “Pending Review.” Huh? Nowhere in the process does Bing indicate whether listings will be updated right away or not. It wouldn’t take much to fix that: Add a simple line on the screenshot above that says something like, “Your changes will be reviewed and may take a week to appear on Bing.”

Step Three: Wait

I checked back a few times in the following days and, after about a week, her listing was updated with the changes and new info that I added. That’s not too long to wait, but it was still a surprise because Bing never bothered to tell me how long it might take.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated a listing on Google or Yahoo, so their systems may be similar to this now. I don’t know. But overall, I found this process to be real simple — as it should be. But Bing can improve it even more with a quick sentence or two explaining that verifying a listing doesn’t mean it’ll be updated immediately, and indicating how long updates usually take before they appear on Bing Local.

Comments (32)

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  1. Sheryl Loch says:

    Thank you Matt!
    Perfect timing as we are working on listings for someone this week. Hearing your experience will save me worry as to if I have done it correctly and what to expect.

    I will also make sure he is by his phone before I have them call to verify. I would have never thought of them being that fast.

    Your making me look smart ;)

  2. Hi, thanks for this how-to, very useful (and a good reminder to actually go and do this!) A few months ago I did some work with a couple of clients’ Google Local listings, it takes anywhere between 1-3 days for the updates to publish. Here’s the post I wrote about the experience: http://www.charlesneville.com/2009/04/local-listings-for-local-people/

  3. Mike Ramsey says:

    My favorite option is the choice to call in a few minutes. I get so tired of saying to clients…I am going to click the button, hang up and then you will get a call in 3 seconds. I am all about options!

  4. David Mihm says:

    Matt, great writeup. Last time I claimed a listing on Bing on behalf of a client was probably late June; they didn’t have the phone verification at that time. Nice to see they added that feature.

    I don’t think you give the Google Maps team enough credit, though…ever since they launched the LBC Analytics package, it’s been MUCH easier to edit and update listings. The claiming process is still a little confusing (as is this one, in my opinion) but it is quite easy to edit a listing you’ve already claimed at Google.

  5. Very cool. I haven’t had to change any listings with Bing but I would imagine with their relaunch they went out of their way to be user friendly. I wonder what it will be like when it becomes MicroHoo…lol…do they plan on merging local or what?

  6. Kim says:

    That’s a great example of how a little courtesy note would go a long way towards customer satisfaction. It’s funny that they expect you to be ready at a moment’s notice yet take a week to “verify” updates on their end!

  7. Miriam says:

    Let me add my voice to the multitudes hoping Bing will show Google up by offering better communication and the kind of cordial transparency you’re referring to here, Matt. Great writeup!

  8. Matt, thanks for the heads up about Bing’s new phone verification.

    I claimed a Bing listing for a client about two weeks ago, and we were waiting for the PIN letter to show up. Just checked the listing status again, and the Bing Local Listing Center indicates we can do a phone verification.

    What an improvement!

    Thanks again!

  9. Jonathan says:

    It does seem that Bing has made their local search service a little more user friendly than Google.

  10. Great advice. I like the time delay options! That is helpful for marketing firms to give companies a heads up prior to receiving a phone call.

  11. Mark Oliver says:

    Very frustrating that you can only update listings for US locations. We still have the same maps in Australia, but apparently no way to manage them. Worse yet, the results seem to include only listings for accommodation that have book online features that pay commissions to Microsoft.

    Did I get that wrong?

  12. Eric says:

    I haven’t had such luck with the process. We’ve been waiting over a month for the “Pending Review” to be lifted after our listings were verified. Anyone have any ideas?

  13. Matt McGee says:

    Hey Eric – not positive on this, but you may want to start all over from scratch if you can. I thought I saw something in the Help material that said it’s okay to start over if the review isn’t acted on in a certain period of time.

  14. Gerry says:

    There’s still no sign of it for Canada though which is a bit crappy on MS’s part.

  15. jack says:

    Let me add my voice to the multitudes hoping Bing will show Google up by offering better communication and the kind of cordial transparency you’re referring to here

    –Well, we had hope for a few moments, but not any more

  16. David Filius says:

    My bing listing was verified on Nov 1 2010 here it is Nov 12 i don’t see it in the listing by city or name is there some one i can call or email to help me.

  17. Danny Davis says:

    i already had a buisness listing that was set up automatically years ago wen to update my listing shows published,but no changes ,updated profile that didnt work.this has been going on for 3 months.

  18. David says:

    My bing listing was verified on Nov 1 2010 here it is Nov 21 i don’t see it in the listing by city or name is there some one i can call or email to help me.

  19. butch holton says:

    my business listing has disappeared along w/ all my reviews, wish i had a way to find out how and why, or who deleted it

  20. Matt McGee says:

    Butch – have you tried creating a new one? Is it completely gone from your Bing login?

  21. I’ve been trying to put a business on Bing Listing Center for over a month now. When you go to the listing center page you get the following message:

    “The Bing Listing Center is currently offline for some scheduled upgrades.
    Your existing listings will continue to run on Bing.

    We are working hard to improve the Bing local listing experience. Please check back soon for improvements that help make it easier for customers to find you on Bing.

    We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

    The Bing Team

    (This message posted Monday, April 4th, 2011.)”

    It’s now the 11t and still no access!

  22. Heather says:

    Works great if they didn’t mess up your phone number. They published our FAX NUMBER. How do you verify a fax? Sent it in to be changed nothing. Snail mail is our only option.

    • Matt McGee says:

      Heather, you might want to do some digging on this. It seems likely that one of the main data providers could also have your fax number mistakenly listed as your primary phone number. If so, this problem won’t only show up on Bing.

  23. Susan says:

    Please help! My bing listing still reads “publish in progress”. I have verified and published the listing a month ago. Yet it still reads that. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Taylor says:

    Bing has been in the process of updating the useability on the side of claiming your local business. They are calling this the beta version, and it still has a few bugs they are working out (such as email verification and the bouncing back and forth of products page) Susan, one good thing I’ve found about Bing, is there customer service is pretty good. I’d send them an email and see what they say about your question. Once you get through all the hiccups, the portal really is pretty user friendly, especially if your business has more than one location.

  25. Mark Oliver says:

    I am so incredibly unhappy with Bing Local. They still don’t allow you to manage listings outside the US (repeating a comment made 2 years ago on this thread). This is beyond stupid and arrogant. Why do they take so long? This is the real world and they are trying to compete with companies that are competent and quick to address needs. Really, kill the service or fix it!

  26. Thanks for taking the time to educate me about the time involved in publishing updates. I am still in the “Under review” phase after taking the snail mail challenge. Its good to know that I only lack about 5 days until my site is published. Once again thanks alot! Daniel

  27. Fred says:

    I am trying to update a client’s Bing places and they have changed it. How in the world does one edit or update their Bing Places now? It used to be fairly simple but since the Verification process, it won’t let me in. Says it is already verified.

    Thanks in advance

  28. Amy says:

    Glad to here your site is pending. I am being told my listing won’t be published because my content doesn’t adhere to the code of ethics. Of course, I can’t figure out what is wrong with it or who to contact to figure out the problem.

  29. Neal says:

    Few days ago I tried to listing my business and input all information correctly. After couple of days I received a pin number and yesterday I tried to enter the for verification but it shows pin number is incorrect. So what should I do now? anyone can explain, what’s wrong is there?

  30. Russ Offord says:

    Procedure UPDATE:

    The phone verification process has changed.

    When I did the phone verification in August of 2013, Bing did not offer a delay on the call.

    Also, now Bing calls the business’ phone number with the PIN… then you need to enter the PIN into the Bing Places dashboard. (The PIN does not show up on the website now, like this article shows.)

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