Shimon Sandler

Why is Citation Consistency Important?

Local SEO consultingCitation consistency is very impactful on the Local SEO for businesses that have a physical location such as law firms, nursing homes, doctor offices, rehab centers, apartment complexes & commercial property, etc.

Essentially, citation consistency acts as a trust factor for Google, and can impact your rankings, and whether or not you’ll appear in the Local Search results.

Here’s the basics. Google crawls the web, and can gather your business information. But, what if your business data is inaccurate? Or, Google sends you to a business that doesn’t exist. You’ll probably stop relying on Google. So, Google wants all their data to be fresh and accurate to provide the user with the best and most relevant results. To keep you coming back to them. Now you can understand how this becomes a trust factor. Can Google trust your information is accurate?

Google can grab your business information from business directories, phone directories, review sites, news sites, etc.

The more times the web mentions your business, the greater confidence Google has in your information. Every mention and citation builds the confidence that Google has to show your listing.

However, different phone numbers, addresses, website URLs, even variations (or old business names) in your business name can lower Google’s confidence in your business. This data is known by the acronym “NAP” (Name, Address, and Phone Number).

Fixing the problem of inaccurate or inconsistent NAP data starts by fixing information on file with the big data providers, like Localeze, Neustar, Infogroup, Acxiom, and Factual. Then moving on to the authoritative local directory sites like: Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, etc. There are about 50 of those authoritative type directories. And lastly, cleaning up any remaining listings (which could be 100’s of sites) on the second and third tier directory sites like: BetterBusinessBureau, YellowPages, CitySearch, Healthgrades, AngiesList, etc.

For local businesses, citation consistency can make a significant difference. In addition to cleaning up inaccurate citations, local business should make an effort to continue to build citations on an ongoing basis, just like an eCommerce website would make an effort to build links. Google will see that your business is “growing” so to speak, and continues to build trust for Google.

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