DanLeibson

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I think one of the problems with SEO is that SEO best practice playbooks that get run are "best practices" in a vacuum and may not be right for particular businesses or situations. This is particularly a problem when it comes to scalable solutions (either agencies scaling for thousands of SMBs or dealing with national to local brands that have thousands of locations.)

Anyway, here is a piece I put together with some of those thoughts as it relates to the "best citations."
 
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I read that yesterday, and I very much agree. Whitespark's list is a great place to start, and maybe even a great place to finish if you're a small business owner with a limited understanding of how to do your own analysis, but even they would need to think carefully being using some of the citations you mentioned. Especially ones that intentionally pollute NAP integrity.
 

JustinB

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Great article Dan, had some comments I left on your blog about data aggregators and these 3rd party "citation" sites.
Considering Whitespark and BrightLocal both probably contain these listings, I wonder if they would be willing to comment on this seemingly disservice to the business owner community?
I would like to see what everyone else here thinks about that, citation listing tools providing 3rd party hyperlocal citations that actually harm their business in two ways;
-NAP consistency
-Introducing 3rd party middlemen to erode profit margins, just for a citation!

Now on the other hand we here at the forums had a discussion about creating directories for local niches or geolocational businesses, this would be certainly an actionable way to create additional profits with the directory by introducing a different phone number to sell individual leads.
 

DanLeibson

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Considering Whitespark and BrightLocal both probably contain these listings, I wonder if they would be willing to comment on this seemingly disservice to the business owner community?

I don't think they are doing a disservice to the community though. They are just providing a tool. Like I said in my post, I think that these likely ARE the best citations you can offer. It's the SEOs the use the list that need to be better informed about what they are getting into as well as their clients.
 

JimFranco

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I dont think any thought were put into those lists. I looked at the home service list and like 3 or 4 were cleaning companies websites.
 
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Well, for anyone serious about getting the best list for their vertical, it's a decent enough place to start at least, and I'd definitely point industry friends and business owners that aren't a good fit to work with me directly towards that citation list, though I would include the short version of what Dan was saying just as a caveat. The list only has the dozen best ones for a given industry anyway, so it'd never be more than just a starting point.
 

whitespark

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Hey everyone. I agree with all the critiques of this resource. We're working to make it better. Much better.

I was in a rush to get the resource published before my Mozcon Local talk, so we didn't have time to finish it, but we have been working hard to categorize the sites to make this resource much better. We're categorizing them into the following categories:
- Brands
- Citation (where you can actually get one)
- Industry associations
- Event listings
- Job sites
- Media (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc)
- Wiki
- Gov/Edu/Non-profit
- Leadgen without call tracking
- Leadgen with call tracking
- Classifieds
- Video
- Deals/Shopping
- Other

Once we finish categorizing over 700,000 results, we'll launch an update to this resource with filter options. By default, it will show only the straight citation opportunities, but you'll be able to toggle filters to see the other categories. These other sites are useful to see for other purposes like competitive analysis for large multi-location brands that are ranking well across the country.
 

JustinB

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Im glad someone was listening, appreciate the reply Whitespark!
 

DanLeibson

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Hey everyone. I agree with all the critiques of this resource. We're working to make it better. Much better.

I was in a rush to get the resource published before my Mozcon Local talk, so we didn't have time to finish it, but we have been working hard to categorize the sites to make this resource much better. We're categorizing them into the following categories:
- Brands
- Citation (where you can actually get one)
- Industry associations
- Event listings
- Job sites
- Media (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc)
- Wiki
- Gov/Edu/Non-profit
- Leadgen without call tracking
- Leadgen with call tracking
- Classifieds
- Video
- Deals/Shopping
- Other

Once we finish categorizing over 700,000 results, we'll launch an update to this resource with filter options. By default, it will show only the straight citation opportunities, but you'll be able to toggle filters to see the other categories. These other sites are useful to see for other purposes like competitive analysis for large multi-location brands that are ranking well across the country.

Really looking forward to seeing that Darren! We actually primarily use lists like this as competitive research, so that would make it even better for that purpose!
 
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Man, you all don't pull any punches... that's some serious data you're organizing and pulling together. Really excited to see the updated list. Even the last one was a good go-to resource to mention off the cuff when talking to business owners, but this one sounds even better.
 
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