More threads by Mike Pedersen

Dec 18, 2012
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Okay...this has happened many times with BL.

I run a citation report, and it says all these listings the client is not in.

And I check and the client is definitely listed. UGH!

It's hard for me to keep using them, when their reporting seems so inaccurate.

Anyone else experience the same thing?
Okay...this has happened many times with BL.

I run a citation report, and it says all these listings the client is not in.

And I check and the client is definitely listed. UGH!

It's hard for me to keep using them, when their reporting seems so inaccurate.

Anyone else experience the same thing?

Mike this typically happens because BrightLocal *might* be using a third-party cache like Google Custom Search to retrieve citations and also because of limitations in the search functionality on certain directories.

Some directories are extremely unreliable and their search doesn't work properly most of the time. Solving the crawling problem isn't as easy as it sounds on first shy and I know this from personal experience having tried to accomplish.

I think as far as accuracy of scan goes, Yext's scan is the best, even though they're only on a limited number of sites.
Hi Mike

Ashwin's reply above sums up the problem in a nutshell.

99% of citation sites don't offer any API connection so we do rely on Google & Yahoo indexes of the sites we report on in CitationTracker. We also use the native search functions on some of the top citation sites but they're not always reliable.

We're always testing out new ways to improve the accuracy of our results. Striking a balance between bringing back every result and not bringing back false results is often tricky. We have 2 additional solutions that we're testing right now which will add much great reliability into the tool - 1 of which we plan to release tomorrow.

Yext has the benefit of a direct pipe into the sites that it reports on so it's data is pulled direct from their database.

Thanks Linda!

What about Whitesparks citation finder? It looks pretty good.

I'm torn between BL and Whitespark for citations, but I hate the "intake form" for whitespark. It's not user-friendly at all, and I don't know why they won't convert it to an online form.
Thanks Myles and Ashwin.

Mike, Darren replied about Whitespark in your other thread last night and explained.

But if I were to buy citations then, many of the chosen 25 would already be taken, so I would never know what citations for a client are really available, so it just adds more time to my day with every client trying to get citations with your company that are not done already for each client.
@mike: I find that if I search using simplified official business names I get better results. For example, If the company's name is Doug Bosworth Orthodontics I will search using the following variations and get different results. Only issue is you have to run separate reports. I use this method along with alternative business name

Doug Bosworth Orthodontics
Doug Bosworth
Bosworth Orthodontics


What is even worst with these directories is that it will not be indexed by google due to poor site structure.

I do regularly check my Client's citations to see if they are in Google's index.

Another part of the problem is if you have 100 sites with your NAP, google may drop a bunch of them. Also if the directory has the exact same info as 1000 other ones, google may drop it. Some directories are better at adding reviews and other content than others.
A tool is just that... a tool. It is designed to help us do our jobs, not replace our jobs.
With a hammer, you can put holes in a wall, smash your thumb or use your skills to accurately place nails and build a beautiful house.

While it would be ideal and pretty awesome if there were a simple, accurate push button solution, but if there was, clients wouldn't need us anymore.

We need to know how to use the tools to the best of their ability and know how to apply that to what needs to be done next.

The citation thing is a nightmare. Even if the tool comes back and says Yes, you are listed correctly on these 50 sites, it doesn't tell you that it is also listed wrong 7 different ways on those same sites.

I use a combo of tools and feel I am pretty good at finding all the hidden, missing and inaccurate listings. I use Yext, Synup, and BL as well as searching the individual citation sites to double check.

So, don't get too frustrated. I know it can be a pain, but that is what we are here for and what we do. :)
Old school manual search checking name variations and phone search for engines and directories that allow it. And then we make sure that duplicates are redirected, supressed, or deleted depending again on engine/directory policy. Followed by staff and client education to not ??% it up again. The only shortcuts are knowing where to start first, what is possible at each engine/directory and then picking battles accordingly. It's the longest list of if then statements on the planet, most of which require humans. Someday, God willing I will have the leverage/cash to API to those which matter along with teaching/begging each engine/directory to deal with listings/dupes my way.

David's direction with moz local shows the most promise to me but I haven't messed with bl or whitespark enough in the past 24 months because of reasons stated above to speak with lots of confidence here.

Same goes for yext coupled with the fact that I'm not going to repay for clean citations year after year after year until I get pissed and start back at first base.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Excellent post, Greg. Couldn't agree more. Particularly with how fast Local data is changing and the number of sources (good and bad) that are now clouding up the ecosystem, it's not only having the right tools for the job, but also having the skill to apply them properly to each situation.

Ideally, at Yext, I'd love to see improved searching capabilities across the scan, and thanks for some of the comments on its use of the direct APIs. But even there, a lot of limitations apply. @Dustybones highlights how just a little bit of fuzzy logic applied, whether manually or through a simple fuzzy algo, can also go a very long way to find the (seemingly) infinite number of other citations that pop up... many of which are wrong and need cleanup or, better yet, suppression.

We are going to produce some more papers on data quality and duplicates and doppelgangers soon, and I'll post when that happens, but to a large degree, these are the main culprits in producing one listings data scan to rule them all!

There just is no substitution for great professional help, no matter what the industry. It may cost more in the short run, but I'd rather have an experienced contractor build my house using pro-grade tools than doing it myself with a home depot credit line.

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