Universal Business Listing Review

Universal Business Listing is a service that lists your business in a wide variety of places across the Internet. This can be helpful, both for driving traffic to your website and increasing local search rankings (as discussed in my guide to local listings).

The Details

The UBL service costs $30 for one year.

Your business details are syndicated out to over 300 locations. This includes the biggies, like Google Places, the obscure, such as SearchBug, and even databases for GPS devices. You are also added to the Acxiom database, which is where many of these places get their data – and is not a place you can simply add your business to through an online form.

Does It Work?

I first used the UBL service a bit over a year ago. After completing the process, I was disappointed – as nothing seemed to be happening. Several months later, however, I was looking at the analytics for the website submitted, and noticed a number of visits from various directories. The listing service had worked after all – it was just a slow process for everything to show up, which they acknowledge on the site (UBL suggests up to 60 days).

The listings that appeared had the correct information, although many of the profiles were not filled out as completely as can be done manually. For instance, the service does not upload videos or coupon information, a couple pieces of information that some sites like to have. On the other hand, the listings did provide traffic. I also saw an increase in local search rankings, although this could have been due to other changes made to the website.

One note I would make: be certain that the information you submit to UBL is the same as you have listed everywhere else. This is important in general, as you need a canonical address/phone number/business name to use across the web. Consistency keeps the search engines from becoming confused. If UBL is distributing different information than that which already exists, you may end up with multiple listings – and lower rankings.

Conclusion

At just $30, a Univeral Business Listing is a good value – it would take many hours to submit to all these sites manually, and some are not even available for online submission. The need to renew annually is a downside, although your information may remain in many of the sites even if you don’t renew.

My suggestion is that businesses read my article on places to list your business, and submit to these important sites manually. Then, purchase a UBL to fill out the hundreds of smaller directories. This will allow you to have well optimized listings in the busiest places online, but yet be sure that your business information is well distributed across the web.

To get started with your listing, visit the UBL website.

If you’ve used the UBL service, please leave your experience in the comments.

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30 Responses to “Universal Business Listing Review”

  1. Matt July 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Just discovered your blog today from a comment you left over at blumenthals blog. Solid guides and great posts—you’ve obviously put a lot of time and effort in.

    • Chris July 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

      Thanks! I’m glad you found the site.

  2. Matt August 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    One question for you. You mention that you should manually submit for some of the more important sites—but how do you avoid duplicate listings? I don’t see any way in UBL to not submit to certain sites. Any suggestions?

    • Chris August 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

      Matt – Most of the places you manually submit are gathering data from a variety of sources. They very well may have some information even if you don’t do a UBL (for instance, they may get data from the phone books). You want to use the same information (business name, address, phone number, website) in every place that you list. This will minimize the odds of duplicate listings – and the fact that they are acquiring additional data should serve to confirm that the information they have is correct.

      One of the biggest issues I see is businesses using a tracking number in some places, as this makes it much more likely you’ll end up with duplicate listings. It’s also smart to have a canonical way of writing your business address.

  3. Gina September 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    We are still waiting for ONE listing to show up after two months….Sent email to the company…waiting a response.

    • Chris September 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. The Universal Business Listings can take a while to show up, which is part of why I recommend you register at some of the sites manually.

      I expect you will see the listings eventually – don’t forget to check your analytics. If you see some new referrers, look to see if they might be due to a UBL listing.

  4. JLN December 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    We bit and bought the $49 so called “quick listing” service which was supposed to include 15 manually submitted listings to several of the top directories within a couple of weeks. After 3 weeks when I inquired why there were none, they said I “slipped between the cracks” and they promised to have them the following week, along with a “QL report” to be delivered to me Monday (yesterday). When I asked for that, they sent it. I checked the listings… only about 3 were done, and they were incomplete and inaccurate. The links they gave me in the report to the other listings were to sign-up pages. What a joke.

    • Chris December 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve never used the quick listing service – my guess is that it’s a very different process from the regular submission method, which I think is pretty much all automated.

      This might be a good reason to do the important manual listings yourself, which is always the best choice – as you can be sure everything is right and that you have control of the listings going forward.

      I still would recommend UBL for the automated listings, as it will get you into directories that you can’t enter manually, although you are not the first complaint I’ve heard of in regard to their customer service. At this point, however, I don’t know of any other options that will distribute your listing as widely.

      • JLN December 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

        There are other services and I’ll be using them next time over UBL. I did not appreciate being lied to about the listings, and it just seemed as thought they must think their customers are totally clueless… which leads me to think that there are a lot of people getting burned out there who may not realize it yet. I had used them for several other clients early in the year (2010) on the basic $30 plan and some listings did indeed materialize, but it generally took 4 to 6 months, not 60 days as they claim.

        • Chris December 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

          I’ve experienced the slow appearance of listings as well. It seems like a year before you really know they’re all going to be there. Who are you going to use instead?

  5. Djenkins January 11, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    I am the Director of Customer Relations with UBL and would like to respond re: JLN comments – as we also did with him directly with further details. The QL service option intent is to get the business listed visibly on sites that tend to post quickly, with primary information (NAPW). Before creating a QL listing, an initial automated search is done on these sites to deterime if the business name already exists so as not to create duplicate listing which can negatively impact ranking. If the business name is found it is bypassed to next directory. (hence only 3 were done) We have since revised our process so that if business name found existing – primary information is checked (since internet crawling can result in erroneous existing data ) and is updated.
    As our reputation and credibility are important to us I welcome any feedback regarding our customer support services.

  6. Greg March 29, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I’ve got very mixed results with this services. UBL offers a tool on their site that will show the percentage of sites your website is listed in. Even after 9 months, some of my sites are scoring 20% or less! It’s almost as if the UBL site just took my money and DID NOTHING!!!! I think you need to be wary of this service. Nothing beats good old fashioned manual entry. I had high hopes for these guys. They’ve all but ignored my requests to fix this issue….with not meaningful response to why I’m not seeing close to 100% by their own analytics!

  7. bob May 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    I’ve got mixed results, too. It takes them a long time to list some websites in some locations and now they’ve jacked their basic price up to $75.

    • Chris May 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Bob.

      They do still have a basic business listing, which is now $39 – you can find it here. They describe it as: “UBL distributes your enhanced listing to the key underlying databases that provide anchor data to major search platforms. This includes InfoUSA’s Express Update, Acxiom, Dun & Bradstreet and more. This method is at the base of all our packages and provides the broadest available syndication. Please note that publishers update their listings on differing publication cycles; some within weeks, others no more than once every three months or more. Over time, however, UBL syndication will reach a broad base of destinations across the digital search landscape.

      My best guess is that Universal Business Listing had too many complaints (there are people calling it a scam) due to the slowness – so now they direct people to more expensive packages that include some listings that show up quicker. They also get a bit more revenue. Would be interesting to have someone from UBL give us their take on why the basic package is buried.

  8. Popular Startups January 8, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    In one simple statement: UBL service does not work as advertised. See comments from people that actually did business with UBL. The feedback was not good.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-marketing-discussions/330168-ubl-org-joke-universal-business-listing-reviews.html

  9. Dave February 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    I submitted to UBL in 2010, not knowing I would have to renew. It worked great after a few months and ever since. With that being said, how important is it to renew this service? Thanks for reading!

    • Brooke Henderson March 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      @ Dave Renewing these listings will prove advantageous as fresh updated information holds prominence within search engine results. Remember too that we do not just submit your business to search engines and online directories, but also GPS directories, Mobile Application directories, 411 directories and other offline databases where your business is searched for. With UBL services you are certain your accurate business informaiton is submitted to online and offline.

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    wonderful information.. for submission they charge only 30 $ , but your share worth 300$.. thank you for share

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