More threads by consultant

Re: Are the "second tier" local directories significant? Where's the traffic data?

Austin Lund asked about vertical citations and here is my response + examples:

Vertical meaning dentistry, or legal, or restaurants for example.

Dentistry: Health Grades, Doctor Oogle, DemandForce
Legal: Avvo,, findlaw
Restaurants: Zagat, OpenTable, Zamato, TripAdvisor

I like to do a search for the top 10 local queries (dentist, cosmetic dentist, dental implants, emergency dental etc) with search settings to the city of the client. Then see which industry/vertical specific directories show in the top 2 pages. Those citations are most important. Then repeat the process adding the geo modifier to those same service queries.

I would also pay attention to any local sites on the first couple pages. For example "fine dining austin" or "restaurants austin" show me the following vertical sites:

And the following geo/city sites:

No Mojopages/Localstack to be found. If it's not relevant to Google's results for these queries. Your wasting time. Time that should be spent on those listings above. How? Well that's another topic but I'm chasing citations, links, ads, banners all of the above on those sites and leaving the top 100 citations for my competitors. ; )

Go to whois and run a search on the domain. It will show you where it is registered. The web developer will usually have that info. Sometimes the business owner will.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
I added:

I would add Dun & Bradstreet though I believe Manta feeds D&B. ?

Do they really? It would be nice since D&B requires a DUNS number to get added (hassle). I checked many of our clients who have been on Manta for years though and they're not on there.

I would add whois with an exclamation mark. You will need access to the registrar to update whois info.

Very, very clever. I had not thought of this before.
Re: Are the "second tier" local directories significant?

Hey everyone,

We're on the same page. I don't think there is huge value in scraping the bottom of the barrel of citations. The thing I think people are missing is what @consultant refers to as "second tier". He says:

First Tier: Google, Apple, Bing, Yahoo and I'd even venture to add in a distant 5th but still top tier is YELP!

There are a Gazillion what I would call "Second Tier" like: Super/Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle, City Search, you name it.

So, he's basically suggesting that any citations outside of Google, Apple, Bing, Yahoo, & Yelp are not worth the time. That's just plain crazy.

Top 25 sites? Definitely. It's so freakin easy/inexpensive/not-time-consuming that it's a no brainer to get listed on these.

I also think all businesses should go on a bit further to the top 50, also because it's such a quick/easy/cheap win, but if you decide to stop at the top 25, it's probably not going to *hurt* you.

And, of course, as Cody mentioned, you want to get on a handful of good city-specific and industry-specific sites.

My recommendation:
Top 4 Data aggregators
Top 46 sites
A handful of the best industry-specific sites (the # will vary based on industry)
A handful of the best city-specific sites (the # will vary based on city)

Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Apple Maps all pull from the primary sources, so you don't usually even need to submit. All you usually need to do on this "first tier" is just claim your existing listing and enhance it with more info.

Agreed, I think now we're just splitting hairs. I agree with your focus, my only exception is to the top 46 (or 25). We are still of the opinion that the Top 10 (especially if you do your third and fourth points) covers 99.8% of a local businesses needs. With that said, we haven't tested this enough yet to "prove" our thesis, so until then, we will defer to you :)

And yes, the .8 was put there for emphasis :)

<iframe src="//" width="595" height="485" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style="margin-bottom:5px"> <strong> <a href="//" title="What About Us? Local SEO & Multi-Location Businesses" target="_blank">What About Us? Local SEO & Multi-Location Businesses</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="//" target="_blank">Dan Leibson</a></strong> </div>

This is Dan Leibson's presentation from state of search. He shared it yesterday, and I found his data pretty useful for this discussion. Basically the conclusion is... "2nd tier" citations are important for influencing Google My Business rank. I think he shared it somewhere else on the forum as well, but I wanted to make sure it was in this thread (and hey! he gets a link out of it).
Needing help on Hearst media sites. At least that is who I've been told manages local newspaper directory data.

I've had a hard time understanding where they get their data, many claim Axiom, although I've had plenty of clients with incorrect data or missing data on these newspaper directories.

Examples in Texas:
Business listings by category in Dallas, TX - Dallas, TX Local Businesses
Business listings by category in Lubbock, TX - Lubbock, TX Local Businesses
Business listings by category in Amarillo, TX - Amarillo, TX Local Businesses

Second, once you find your client listed, and you go to the right on: "Claim Your Listing", I never get a call back or any response.

Have you dealt with similar issues on Hearst Media Newspaper Sites?
I read/scanned through this thread. One of the first things I did was scan the traffic sources for one local smb; tiny niche topic, strong visibility, pretty large metro region.

I looked at 2 years of the most recent traffic and then 2 years of traffic from a couple of years ago. Almost 300,000 visits.

Directories don't deliver traffic!!!!! Two exceptions in the case of this smb: Yelp, In both cases they have visibility in search. In fact both the Yelp and visibility have waxed and waned during those periods. When they ranked and showed better in search we received more traffic from those directories...when they ranked and showed less they delivered less traffic.

When I say they delivered Yelp was a little less than 1% of the total and YP much much less. Every other noted directory for this smb has been totally worthless on a traffic basis. (I'll say this though, its a tiny tiny niche wherein the directories don't give it much effort).

Its been that way for years before. From a traffic perspective google is a directory. Once google took precedence all other directories faded in importance from a traffic perspective.

So the value, in our case, is about citations that google picks up for its local rankings. Nothing more.

From my perspective I tend to agree with Darren. I add directory citations as they come up. Since none, (but those that show in search) deliver traffic I don't want to pay for any of them.

I tend to add directories that can serve as citations when I can. If its quick and painless I don't think it hurts and if anything it might assist with google. Not measurably but possibly, if we have 300 and our competitors have 40 and we both have the same major directory sources.

What we really strive for, with regard to possible citation sources at this point for this and other smb's are non structured citations wherein we can add NAP. Media sources are our number one target. The stronger the media source (use Moz's domain strength as a reasonable assessment of the strength of the site). We'll do what we can to add any level of NAP we can. We believe that helps.

Its all unvalidated perspective. The target is to show highly in local 3 Pacs. Its all a function of trial effort and study.

I've been working on local sites since about 2003/2004. They generally rank highly and have for many years.

One thing remains constant. Google has never told us how they work. So its perspective, trial, error and observation.
The Hearst media sites are powered by Acxiom. Link is at the bottom of their pages
Regarding that powerpoint presentation - it's hard to determine specifically what the presenter did without a transcript but if they were trying to make the point of local SEO efforts improving rakings, why did they show this very uncompelling graph? It definitely seems to support the law of diminishing returns regarding the amount of time you spend on Local SEO.

I sent a tweet to Dan to see if he can chime in on this slide. I didn't see his presentation live, so it's hard to say.

There is always a point of diminishing returns for any activity. Basically if the opportunity cost of another activity becomes greater than your current activity (citations) then you need to stop focusing on citations. I'm sure Dan wasn't saying that citations alone can move you to the #1 position in the local pack, but he was trying to prove a point to say citation consistency is very important. The less inconsistencies, the better visibility your business will have in Google Maps and Organic. We'll see if he can jump into this thread and add more detail

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