The state of the current Local SEO landscape and the need for additional citations

Go to a lot of Local SEO agencies and you will be told that when it comes to Local SEO, all you need to do is to submit your website to a couple of the major aggregators to achieve a local map ranking. While this may be true if you operate in an uncompetitive niche, it simply isn’t the case if you operate any other niches. The truth is that if you want to rank properly you’re going to have to get a lot more citations and do a lot more work—or your agency is going to have to work harder for you.

In this article, we will analyze the current state of the local SEO ecosystem and consider why it is important to make sure every single directory is covered and NAPs are accurate and consistent.  

What does the U.S. Local Search Ecosystem look like at the moment

Whitespark and Tidings have worked together to map out the current state of the local SEO ecosystem. From their fabulous work, we can see who the major aggregators of business data are, how each of the major search engines use this data and how that data flows between all of the sites in the ecosystem.

The outcome of their research is the image above. From it, we can see that there are four main data aggregators: Acxiom, Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual. These major players collect and aggregate almost all of the business data out there. Search engines will then license this data to fuel their rankings. But that’s not all. They will also license data from other major sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and Yellowpages. On top of that, the search engines will also maintain some data of their own, even if they rely heavily on the aggregators. We can also see that there are quite a number of vertical and geo-specific sites that provide a fantastic source of traffic to local businesses. Most of these will take data from one of the aggregators, but they all use different ones. As such, it is hugely important to make sure that your data is accurate on each of the aggregators and that it is showing up correctly on the niche sites relevant to you.

As you’ll be able to see, if you want to maximize your presence, you’ll need to have the correct business information on each of the major data aggregators, as well as all of the other key sites. Not only that but you’ll also need to make sure that it is displaying correctly on the niche sites that are important to you.

If incorrect information exists on any of these sites it can override the data that Google and other search engines have on your business, leading to duplicate listings and a drop in rankings.


We maximize your citations

When we do citations for clients we don’t settle for optimizing for one of the aggregators. Nor do we rely on services like a Yext PowerListing. Instead, we build citations month after month adding up to 300 at a time to ensure that you are completely covered. Get in touch to find out more.