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I created 3 basic local business listings in Yahoo Local for a client last week. One was for the accounting firm in general, and two were for individual accounts within the firm. Today I log in to check on their status, and I find the main firm listing deactivated along with one of the individual listings. The other individual listing is still pending, as it hasn't been approved to date.
In the account control panel the listing 'deactivated' provides this text upon rollover:
'Your previously accepted Basic Listing has been overwritten by another user. Enhanced Listings cannot be overwritten unless the original owner cancels their subscription'
Now, no one has an enhanced listing for this business, so no one is overwriting the listing. I believe what has happened is someone took over the listing. So what this means is there is no ownership of any basic listing. I believe Yahoo doesn't mind, and didn't do this by accident. The only way to protect a listing is to make it enhanced = $9.95 for Yahoo
We've run a few tests since this discovery and were easily able to take over eachothers listings.
Interesting. Now I'm off to figure out who took over my listing. They've got a fun week ahead of them.
I then logged in with yet another Yahoo ID and stole my listing back.
However, there seems to be no 'ownership' as my listing now sits inside 3 different accounts.
Unless you're paying for an enhanced listing - all listings seem to be open to taking listings, changing destination URLs, phone numbers, etc.
I've been very impressed with Yahoo Local overall - one of the best local search platforms out there - however, the open ability to hijack listings seems quite unusual. Definitely a loophole that needs to be closed.
Seeing as #1 position in Y!Local now preceeds all SERP results, it is only a matter of time until the unscrupulous folks out there start manipulating the unpaid and backfilled results for their own benefit.
Imagine, in this day and age, Yahoo has managed to put out a property where the public has full access to manipulate their data, completely anonymously!
I am sure that quality control is high on their agenda, maybe with the next update of Y!Local? :)