Latest Interview: InfoUSA’s Pankaj Mathur – Comment Here

I am excited about this week’s interview with Pankaj Mathur of InfoUSA. What I got out of it was a really deep look at the true problems related to local search, and the size and complexity of the infrastructure required to deal with it. Read this interview and it should give you a new pespective on the problem too.

You can use the link below to comment on the interview.

Comments

  1. says

    I find it interesting that Pankaj provides an example of incorrect data at SuperPages.com. When I look at the bottom of the page I see that infoUSA is the data provider.

    Additionally to the point about phone verification by infoUSA, I sure would like to know how infoUSA handles the fact that upward towards 20% of local businesses don’t answer their phones, or what they are doing about the fact that hundreds of thousnads of local businesses no longer have a landline phone #? This is the probelm w/ phone verification- case in point; a business owner cancels his Verizon landline and gets a Comcast line. When infoUSA calls the old VZ phone number they get a disconnect and incorrectly remove a valid business.

  2. says

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your comments. You have raised some good points, hope that my comments below will answer your questions.

    a) These screenshots have been taken over last several months; some goes back to Q2 2008. As for Superpages specifically, right now the site is transitioning to InfoUSA data, the screenshots I have used are from 2008. In addition, all portals tend to use multiple data sources, for instance Superpages may continue to use their own data for advertisers. An attribution at the bottom of the page only indicates that some data may have come from InfoUSA but it does not imply that it is always true. The only reason I used screenshots is to highlight that the challenges described in the interview are not hypothetical problems but real ones.

    b) It is true that some businesses will not answer the phone, for example, when we dial movie theaters, we always get a recorded message which normally contains a prompt for location address. The actual refusal rate of businesses is far lower than you have suggested in your comment but even in those scenarios the phone number and business names are confirmed by the time we get a refusal!

    c) We frequently come across businesses changing telephone service providers and you are right on the dot that this is nothing but noise. This is the reason InfoUSA phone validates utilities connect/disconnect data. Quite a significant portion of so called “disconnects” that are provided to us actually answer the phone! In some cases, when a business does not port the phone number to new service provider we will get the new number in utilities “new connect” feed or it may come to us as a request through one of our partner – search engine, mobile app, navigation etc.

    Hope this clarifies.
    Thanks.

    Pankaj

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