So does your business really exist online? My name is Daniel Zayets-Volshin, and today we’re going to talk about URL citations and the structure of data. So what are citations? Citations are basically links with local search intent. They tell Google or any other search engine that you are actually the business that you say you are. And the search engine uses those links to confirm the address, hours, phone number, potentially the website or other information that might be related to the business.
It is very important that information is pretty much identical from citation source to citation source. Directories like Yelp, Citysearch, Yahoo, all the examples of such citation sources. But it is also important to mark the information on your site, because the search engine will use that information to correlate directly to those citation sources. The information on your site needs to be as close to identical as possible to how it’s provided to all the citations. Over the past few years, there has been a number of services that offer automatic submission and editing of citation sources. Though I cannot dispute the benefits of editing, I would say that it’s much better to do citations manually. Essentially when you’re doing a citation by yourself, you know all the local and industry-specific sources, where that citation can be achieved from. For example, in Boston we have a directory right on Newbury Street.
That directory is so specific that it would never be listed in one of those automatic citation sources. All those citation sources might not know your industry specific directories either. You know them, this is your industry. Getting the recognition from such organizations with the search intent such as location, link and phone number is completely available. Local and industry-specific citations links are one of the most important factors in the success of local optimization. Having information consistently the same from all the citation sources as well as your website is absolutely vital.