Best match is an algorithm which determines if a listing belongs to a profile. Using the profile’s anchor data (a.k.a. NAP, NAP+W, Name, Address and Phone plus Website ) Best Match compares the anchor data to the information found on the listing and determines first if a listing is worth considering and then ranks the listings found on how closely they match the anchor data.
A listing's page is determined as "potential listing" if the best match score reaches a threshold. By default this is 50% (145), but some sources expect better or don’t expect as high a score. For example: Twitter pages don’t allow users to enter in much information, so its threshold is quite low where Yahoo! Local has a lot of information and is usually quite accurate thus, its threshold is quite high. If none of the listings returned in the search reach the threshold, there is no Best Match, otherwise the highest scored listing (or listings in the case of a tie) are the Best Match listing(s).
Best match considers phone, name, city, zip/postal and address independently and scores the match between 0% and 100% for each. Each type of data has different weighting on the Best Match result:
So phone has the most influence and city has the least. A perfect score is 290, but anything above 257 is considered a tie, since a profile could legitimately have multiple listings on a site and those scoring at least 257 are likely real listings.
Fuzzy-Matching vs. Exact-Matching
At the partner level, there is the option to use fuzzy-matching (a.k.a. strict-matching) or exact-matching, strict being the default. Fuzzy-matching will consider common abbreviations for words and the whole word as a match, where exact-matching does not. For example, when using fuzzy, ‘W.’ and ‘West’ are treated as equal in addresses, ‘3rd’ and ‘third’ & ‘SK’ and ‘Saskatchewan’ are also equal when using fuzzy-matching.
The differences that are ignored for exact-matching are case and punctuation. So ‘Vendasta Inc.’ and ‘VendAsta inc’ are considered equal using both fuzzy and exact-matching.