More threads by Tim Colling

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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I was on a zoom meeting today and at one point, a person made the following assertion:

"Yext creates a large number of citations with backlinks to your clients' websites, and that will have a significant positive benefit for their SEO."

That didn't used to be correct. Has something changed? Do they actually help SEO now?
Um... who said that? People think all kinds of silly things. I mean, the benefit is not zero, but "a significant positive benefit for their SEO" is definitely WAY over selling it.
Yep, that's what I thought too. The person making the assertion is a reseller of many services, Yext being one of them. Go figure. :)
Hypothetically, if Yext's listings service were free, would you see any marginal SEO benefits in it?
Yes but those benefits are isolated to a very small number of sites in their or any other listing vendors network nowadays. Local Search traffic and influence has isolated to a very small number of publishers. Going as deep as possible on those is smarter than spraying and praying.
I was helping a small business client that recently that changed their company name. In an effort to locate all the old business listings I ran a search on four of the business listing services free scan tools. Results were interesting using four of the larger and often written about, the results were 14, 13, 4, and 2 respectively (attached figure). between all of these companies, particularly the larger two, they offered 113 directories the business could be listed in. I hold the same opinion as above, these long list have been over used and spammed in the name of local SEO too long and cant imagine Google's algorithm weighing much at all in rankings.

Two questions:
1. does it hurt your SEO to leave incorrect data on some of these lesser known directories? As some of these seem to be gated by the listing services

2. Is there any literature / studies on how little this volume spraying of directories is relative to local SEO. Often need to undo the sales pitches

Listings Services Audit Results.JPG
I ran my company through Yext’s scan tool a few years ago. It couldn’t possibly be more wrong. It said that I wasn’t on Google or Yelp or any of the big sites that I was on for years.

The next day I get a call from them offering me their service at a discount. I asked the woman why I would use them when they so wrongly identified which sites I was on. It simply doesn’t make any sense to me, if their company can’t even identify which sites I am listed on, how are they possibly going to list me correctly? She couldn’t give me a reasonable answer.
A follow up to previous post - spoke with each vendor, audits are not intended to be 100% accurate. a free audit tool can not match their automated + manual searches, data validation, some vendors call the business. There is quite a difference between vendors in business practice, business model, price, and reviews.

A broader topic is: to bother with web businesses directories or not. There are at the White Hat, free directories are a thing of the past, not indexed by Google, so concentrate on the few that are highly curated, very local, or industry specific and managed. Ex: Are Web Directories Still Relevant for SEO in 2021?. Then there is if it is easy and free, why not camp. And the third camp, get as many as possible and its worth spending money to do so. Based on the comments above, it would seem the experts in this group, are mode in line with the first group.
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