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