Colan Nielsen

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Eric Rohrback

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Short answer, absolutely. Citations are very important for business info consistency. Of course this discussion will come back to what kind of business are you working with and what do they need?

A brand new business or a business with mismatched info will absolutely need citation work. No question. A company that is well established and has many stable citations may not. It all depends whether you need to build up the foundation or move the needle in a competitive market.

So... yes citations are needed, but it depends what the ultimate goal is.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Oliver Keates, what @Colan Nielsen said. There always has been, and always will be, benefit in getting your listings "good enough" on the basic sites + sites geared to your niche. Especially when those sites are also review sites (you need to have a listing on a given site before customers can review you there).

That's just part of commonsense marketing. I've never liked the term "building citations," because it suggests you can never go overboard. Creating 100-300 listings on no-name directories has never been an effective way to rank, and I've been saying that for years.

I'd say that number of sites that matter is more like 15-20, plus a few industry-specific ("niche") sites, but the point is you don't need to deal with too many listings.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I agree citations are still important.

I would also like to stress that all citation evidence of it being important/unimportant is complete conjecture. The only way we would ever know is if a) Google comes out and tells us (won't happen) or b) if someone did a very sanitized and scientific case study.

There's been a lot of talk over the past few years about whether citations are important or not. It is important to remember that past the two options above, there's no way to know. And I haven't seen either option come to fruition yet.
 

Casey Donovan

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At the very least, I would recommend you cover the directories seen in
a) a branded search for the company name and
b) a search for the primary industry keywords

Using Barbara Oliver Jewelry that we always see as an example, when I search "Barbara Oliver Jewelry Williamsville NY," the 3rd party sites on the first couple pages of Google are Facebook, Yelp, Wedding Wire, YouTube, Mapquest, BBB, Groupon, Manta, The Knot, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc

When I search "jewelry stores in Williamsville NY," the first couple pages show "best" lists from Yelp, Yellowpages, BBB, Manta, Angie's List, Mapquest, Facebook

So I would recommend, again bare minimum, to cover these citations as places you should be. Then use resources like this to build more. This way, the critical business information is correct in the places that potential customers might come across it.
 

JoshuaMackens

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At the very least, I would recommend you cover the directories seen in
a) a branded search for the company name and
b) a search for the primary industry keywords

Using Barbara Oliver Jewelry that we always see as an example, when I search "Barbara Oliver Jewelry Williamsville NY," the 3rd party sites on the first couple pages of Google are Facebook, Yelp, Wedding Wire, YouTube, Mapquest, BBB, Groupon, Manta, The Knot, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc

When I search "jewelry stores in Williamsville NY," the first couple pages show "best" lists from Yelp, Yellowpages, BBB, Manta, Angie's List, Mapquest, Facebook

So I would recommend, again bare minimum, to cover these citations as places you should be. Then use resources like this to build more. This way, the critical business information is correct in the places that potential customers might come across it.

That is great advice.
 

chadkimball

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any ongoing quick wins earning links in 2019 without writing content etc.

One answer is related to the original question, CITATIONS are great link opportunities. We keep a list of dofollow citations and make sure to always get those because of the link opportunity. Only local businesses can get citations, so grab that unique link opportunity!
 
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Citations are losing effectiveness but however they are cheap to do and many also give a backlink. Good for trust. Would recommend A+
 

JoshuaMackens

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Citations are losing effectiveness but however they are cheap to do and many also give a backlink. Good for trust. Would recommend A+

I'm not trying to pick a fight here, but what makes you say citations are losing their effectiveness?
 
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Years ago you could build out a few hundred and rank nicely. These days other local factors are taking precedent over citations.

Citations are still one of the first things we do but they are very commoditized now. Maybe the difference is everyone has them, who knows.

We still build 1k+ citations a week.
 

Phil Rozek

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Thanks for your expert advice guys, @JoshuaMackens @Casey Donovan @Phil Rozek @Eric Rohrback @Colan Nielsen. In regards to local link building are there any ongoing quick wins earning links in 2019 without writing content etc.

Yes. I mention some here: 11 No-Outreach, No-Content Ways Local SEOs Can Help Businesses Rustle up Good Links | LocalVisibilitySystem.com

Most citation sources' links are nofollow, though occasionally an industry-specific one will bring with it a decent link. That's not a given, though.

May sound boring, but I'd start with local Chambers of Commerce and/or professional organizations (preferably also local), and HARO outreach. Often that's where I start with clients. If clients can't swing at least one of those, the more-labor-intensive link opps probably won't work out. They need to put something into it.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Years ago you could build out a few hundred and rank nicely. These days other local factors are taking precedent over citations.

Citations are still one of the first things we do but they are very commoditized now. Maybe the difference is everyone has them, who knows.

We still build 1k+ citations a week.

I think it's fair to possible conjecture that over the last 5-10 years they have lost effectiveness on some level. I'll give you that. It's just hard to say that it has been a huge loss or relatively low loss. Like you said, it could also be everyone has them now.
 
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I think it's fair to possible conjecture that over the last 5-10 years they have lost effectiveness on some level. I'll give you that. It's just hard to say that it has been a huge loss or relatively low loss. Like you said, it could also be everyone has them now.

I agree. The way I look at it is, anything that we can do that has some benefit and is relatively affordable is still gold in my eyes.
 

LexiMStL

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The bottom line and consensus is that you need a solid foundation of the top 30 local directories and a handful of niche citations. After that, move on.

And citations with local relevance. This was focused on quite a bit in Moz's webinar on local search ranking factors the other day, beyond the core 30 or so and niche sites. But it definitely seems that second and third tier citations are a waste of time these days.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I think he means things like local bloggers. Clarification would be great.
 

Oliver Keates

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Hey @JoshuaMackens @JoyHawkins for example local bloggers, Instagrammers in a specific niche, local facebook and linkedin groups that attract local businesses. From here you can create business relationships. If you had a restaurant you could reach out to local food bloggers.
 
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