The websites of search aggregates such as BingPlaces and Google MyBusiness, and social networks like Facebook allow users to create a free account to list their business online. Listing businesses online enables them to gain wider exposure and helps potential customers locate their contact information.
Most businesses already appear in online directories as the result of data aggregation from search engines and existing White Pages or Yellow Pages listings. These listings provide a company's name, address, phone number, and sometimes a blurb about the services a company offers. Discrepancies often exist often between old addresses and phone numbers if a business changes location, and many listings are incomplete.
BingPlaces, Google My Business and Facebook allow companies to claim and modify existing listings or create new ones. Claiming a listing allows the business to verify its contact information, add additional details such as a brand profile or a website address, and ensure that all official communication goes directly to the business rather than to an unknown third party.
To register new listings, companies sign up with an email addresses and choose whether they operate from a single location or are a chain of stores. Facebook has lets companies specify what type of services they offer, helping businesses connect with a relevant customer base for advertising purposes. All three services display a company's physical address on a map.