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I have 9 (active) local SEO clients
I've had 17 total over the past few years (I dropped most, some dropped me)

In each and every case I employed the exact same strategy for ranking in Google Places for each and every one.

In all instances my client (eventually) either earned the #1 or at a minimum the #2 slot in Google Places ( earning an A red bubble icon in the maps or a B red bubble icon)

Recently I had a failure, now in the past Google used to make one change in the algorithm and the SEO community would compare notes, within a couple weeks or so we'd have had the opportunity to reverse engineer what G did and compensate accordingly.

Now it seems, G refreshes Panda (monthly?) (a spam filter from their perspective and a penalty from our perspective) AND simultaneously adds a "trust factor" ( me paraphrasing here) ranking factor for what it deems "quality content".

If G is going to combine a penalty update with a quality update... that makes it pretty darn impossible to reverse engineer with the degree of certainty that we enjoyed in the past.

The failure I alluded to above had this main difference:

Most of my small business clients have zero idea of what to do, they defer to me and my experience for all things digital marketing.

This failure was from a mid sized company were the business development manager was under extreme pressure from the CEO to provide "instant ROI"

they studied as much as a layman could ascertain about SEO and undertook paying Yodle for their citation building services simultaneously while I did my thing.

Yodle gave their citations a tracking phone number (effectively diluting the consistency of the NAP data cluster)

Also I'm beginning to suspect knocking out all of your citations in "one fell swoop" triggered an "unnatural" uptick in citations, resulting in an Over Optimization Penalty

Now I only have the > 20 clients to compare notes with (give or take)
Rand Fishkin has access to hundreds if not thousands to compare notes with

My question is: has anyone here had a similar experience with either Yext or Yodle?

When I build citations one or two a day, spread out over a period of weeks... my client dominates G Places

When one elects to use "the silver bullet" and get all of them at once... has that triggered a penalty for your local SEO clients?

thanks
 

whitespark

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Hi Frederick,

I'll defer to the great Mike Blumenthal here. When asked this question, he replied with this post and said:

"Firstly let’s look at citations in isolation. The path of a citation into the Google cluster for a local business is often long and circuitous. An entry is made at a local directory; Google must scrape that deep interior page of the local directory and add the changed data into their main index; Google then must rebuild their Maps index from the recently scraped data and then rerank the listings inside of the Google local index. Google’s local index build occurs roughly every 6 weeks although the schedule is not fixed and it could be from 4 to 8 weeks. Many local directories take time to update their listings once an edit has been made and the page that the listing is on is of such low page rank that it may take weeks or months for Google to scrape it into their main index.Thus a direct entry to a local directory could take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to make it into the cluster. In addition if you added the listing to a major list supplier like InfoUSA or Localeze you have to add the time for them to vet the listing and provide a feed to Google. In the case of InfoUSA this could be as long as 3 months. Add the time delay for submissions from a company like UBL and you could easily see a 8 month timeframe before all citations have made their way into Google’s index. Thus not only do they often take a long time, they would come into your business cluster at a very erratic rate."

So, even though you might submit them all in one day, Google's not picking them all up at the same time. They'll naturally trickle in anyway, so there isn't a concern with "citation velocity" in the same way there is with link velocity.

Hope this helps.
 
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