The Primary Data Aggregators Are Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know

Acxiom is going into retirement at the end of 2019, which leaves the 3 major primary data aggregators in the U.S. local search ecosystem: InfoGroup, Neustar Localeze, and Factual.

“Acxiom’s Directory/Local Search line of products is being retired at the end of 2019. As a result, we are no longer accepting new registrations for My Business Listing Manager. As a means to ensure the broadest correction/addition of your listing information, we recommend you reach out to your local telephone company and/or your Yellow Page provider to address inaccuracies or additions you may notice with your listings as many other search and directory businesses receive that telephone company and Yellow Page source data.”

Acxiom has been a major player and influencer in the movement of data across various platforms, sites, and channels for decades. The distribution of business information online has substantially grown, and we are seeing more players enter and exit the market (ex. Kudzu, and Universal Business Listings [UBL]).

Does Acxiom Shutting Down Impact the Flow of Business Data?

Not significantly. While Acxiom’s distribution network reached some sites that others did not, we expect these sites will simply subscribe to a new data feed from one of the other aggregators.

The Local Search Ecosystem is a dynamic environment of information exchange with many parties sending, receiving, and collecting business data. From primary data aggregators to core search engines, key sites to geo/vertical directories there are a multitude of sources, and it’s to be expected that the significance and impact of each player changes with time. With Acxiom exiting the space, we do not believe there will be a noticeable disruption in the flow of business data. This could just open the door for new relationships, and we think that there is already another data aggregator in the market ready to take it’s place: Foursquare!

Over the past few years, Foursquare has quietly shifted its business model from being a social networking check-in app, to being an location intelligence technology company powering the location layer for companies such as Uber, AirBNB, Apple Maps, and 150,000 other brands. In January 2019, CEO Jeff Glueck had this to say about Fourquare’s location data:

“Foursquare powers location experiences for over 1 billion people globally. We also throw out more than 80 percent of the third-party data we consume as not meeting our accuracy and quality bar. Our extensive network of over 150,000 registered developers using our tools lets us evaluate which third-party data sets are full of false claims and spotty data. No other independent location player has the kind of privileged first-party data view and billions of human-powered confirmations to test and train accuracy down to individual visits.”

With so many companies now relying on Foursquare’s Places API for accurate location information, it has evolved into a key distributor of data, and has become a source that we’re elevating to the status “data aggregator”.

We are currently working on an updated Local Search Ecosystem resource for 2019/2020 that will reflect this change, so please stay tuned for that!

How Does This Change Impact Whitespark Customers?

Whitespark is no longer including Acxiom in our Citation Audit and Cleanup packages, which means our plans have decreased in pricing and now start at $129 USD for the Data Aggregators package (InfoGroup, Neustar Localeze, Factual, and Foursquare).

Business data integrity is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we are the only service provider in the market that performs exhaustive manual research for all the business listings across the most important sites in the local search ecosystem. For every Citation Audit and Cleanup package we complete an extensive discovery of business name, address and phone number (NAP) variation, remove duplicates, update information, submit new listings if a business is missing on any of the sites, and complete phone verifications.

We’ve decided to remove Acxiom before their doors officially close because we believe it will not provide any added benefit to our customers to continue submitting to the service and paying a fee for something that will not be operational by the end of the year. We are confident in the efficiency, accuracy, and power of the network of sites in our packages, and based on our research for the Local Search Ecosystem, our comprehensive package covers all of the listing sites that Acxiom distributed their data to.

If you have any questions regarding this change, please get in touch with our support team, or leave your questions in the comments below.


Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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4 comments on “The Primary Data Aggregators Are Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Great article, Darren. Foursquare has been quietly positioning themselves to take on this role for a while now with deals with Uber and others as you mentioned above. Looking forward to the revised local search ecosystem diagram!

  • Thanks for the info! Foursquare has definitely been a sleeper company over that past few years as they position themselves to become a power house in the data collection world. It will be interesting to see how the data landscape changes with Acxiom gone but as you say they others provide a pretty good coverage.

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