A Guide to Claiming and Updating Listings in Top Business Directories


Claiming and updating is a significant part of OptiLocal’s Local Citation Building service. Editing incorrect or incomplete information in business listings is essential to achieving excellent results in local search rankings (as data completeness and consistency are key factors). A couple of weeks ago I started recording and organizing our knowledge about claiming and updating business info on some of the best-value generic business directories in the USA since they are the ones that we use most frequently. This blog post is the first installment of a four-part tutorial which will take you through the aforementioned process in what we consider the top 20 US generic directories.

Before I begin my tutorial, however, I need to share a few of notes.

  • First, my experience with citation building has taught me that in most directories it is always more convenient to first create your account before you start listing, claiming or updating. It makes the process the whole process a lot easier.
  • Also, when claiming requires phone verification, there are two major types of phone verification across all directories:
    -A business-directory representative provides you a PIN over a call that you need to enter on the screen in front of you
    -You provide a business-directory representative a PIN that you see on the screen in front of you
    To keep things simple, we are going to call these 2 methods “directory-provides-PIN” verification and “client-provides-PIN” verification respectively. Noting the difference is probably only valuable to colleague SEOs for whom the process dramatically changes from one option to the other, and we will explain why in a later post on
  • Sometimes directories allow for listings that are already managed by an account (the one that created them or previously claimed them) to be “re-claimed” and sometimes they don’t. For simplicity’s sake, we will call the process of claiming a listing that is already managed by an account “re-claiming”. In the same way, sometimes directories allow for updates on “already claimed” listings and sometimes they don’t. When they do, we will call the process “updating a claimed directory”.

OK, enough preliminary notes, let’s roll:

Can be claimed? Claim requires phone verification? Allows re-claims? Allows updates? Allows updating a claimed directory? Updates review time Yes Yes, “client-provides-PIN” No Yes Yes Review time not specified Yes Yes, “directory-provides-PIN” Yes No No Live immediately (but only through a claim) Yes No No Yes Yes One Week No N/A – cannot claim N/A – cannot claim Yes Yes 2-4 business days Yes No No Yes Yes 48 hours



    On every listing page there is a “Claim This Business” (if the listing has not been claimed) and an “Edit Business info” link (as seen on the screen capture below).

Claiming & Verifying in Yelp

    • Updating: The latter link allows you to directly edit the listed business information but the changes you make have to be approved by a moderator before they go live which can take some time. Solely adding photos is also an option but it requires creating an account (I told you, didn’t I).
    • Claiming: Claiming the business is a 3-step process: creating a business account, confirming your connection to the business (which happens via phone call) and accessing your account. When you create your account, a page with a “Call Me Now” button appears (as shown below) as you are informed that in order to claim a listing, a employee must first contact the phone number listed in the original business listing for security purposes. A “client-provides-PIN” verification follows.

Phone Call Yelp



    • Updating: The only way to update business information here is to claim the listing first. Nevertheless, you are able to add photos after creating an account without claiming it.
    • Claiming: On every listing page there is an “Own this business?” link to the right of the company NAP (name-address-phone number). After clicking on it you are redirected to where you are asked to create an account. After doing so, a “Call Me Now” link appears – a CityGrid employee will call the phone number listed in the original business info. A “directory-provides-PIN” verification follows.

CitySearch Claiming & Updating


    • Updating: On every listing page there is an “Improve this listing” link. It allows you to directly udpate the business information without creating an account but up to a week is required for the changes to be reviewed by an administrator.
    • Claiming: There is also a “Claim my listing” link below only unclaimed listings. Claiming happens via – you type in your business number in order to find your company and then simply follow the instructions to claim and update it. All changes appear instantly. If you do not have a account, you will be required to create one.

SuperPages Claim + Update


    • Updating: On every listing page, however, there is an “Edit info for this business” link. Once you click it you have two options of editing: as a business owner or as a customer. It appears that as of the time of writing of this blog post the site doesn’t allow you to update listings as a business owner. Nevertheless, when you update as a cutomer there is a 2-4 business days reviewing period. Updating as a cutomer does not require an account but adding images does.
    • Claiming: In this directory it seems that you cannot claim business listings. Please let us know if you find a way, you will make our nerdy heads faces smile!



On every listing page there is an “Add Photo”, “Edit Business” and “Claim Business” (if not already claimed) link. In order to use any of them you need to have created an account.

Update & Clame InsiderPages

    • Updating: When you add photos they instanly appear in the listing. If you only edit the business information, however, all changes you make have a 48 hour reviewing period. If you claim the business on the other hand all changes you make are displayed instantly.
    • Claiming: Claiming in is quite straightforward – you click on the “Claim Business” link, you create an account and you are all set – no need for phone verification, the listings go live immediately.

That was it for the first 5 of what we consider the top US generic directories – I hope my instructions were useful to you and can potentially facilitate you maintaining consistent information for your small or medium business. Thoughts? Comments? Shortcuts? Tune in next week when I will continue with some more insight into claiming and updating business listings!

  1. prefab granite countertops
    prefab granite countertops09-26-2012

    I’m starting up a internet website directory and was wondering if I can submit your website? I’m hoping to grow my directory gradually by
    hand so that it retains high quality. I’ll make sure and put your blog in the correct category and I’ll also
    use, “Guide to Claiming and Updating Listings on the Top U.S. Business Directories | OptiLocal | OptiLocal” as your anchor text.
    Please be sure to let me know if this is acceptable with you by e-mailing me at: [email protected]

    com. Thanks alot :)

    • Vladislav Todorov
      Vladislav Todorov10-03-2012

      Thanks for your comment & consideration for a link. I would need the url of your directory in order to tell the latter.

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