NAP consistency is something that is often researched, however generally it’s at a small scale and often the results are anecdotal. We wanted see what citation cleanup looked like at scale, and measure the results as best we could, so we partnered with Yext for one of a kind study on what happens when you enforce citation consistency on a 1.3k+ location national brand.

The tl;dr on the methodology is this:

  1. Took baseline rankings of GMB pack presence for Brand X across their core terms
  2. Yext performed a round of duplicate suppression on Brand X across their publishing network
  3. Rank tracking continued to be able to measure the results

So, we dealt with some duplicates at scale.

I have talked about this case study at a couple of conferences, so here is how I previously presented the data:

To me there are two big takeaways from this case study:

  1. Citation Consistency is Foundational – It’s one of the critical relevancy factors for determining if your business is even eligible to show up in a local pack. Check out what we use in our citation stack in order to solve citation consistency issues.
  2. Citation Consistency Is Not A Competitive Difference Maker – Wait, what? You just said that they are key for getting in packs. Which is true, but they don’t seem to matter much when it comes to improving rankings for GMB profiles that are already showing up in pack results. Check out slide #6 below and you will see that improvement in pack results was a bell curve. Most profiles stayed in the same position, and about the same moved up as down. If your interested more in what these competitive difference makers are check out our Local Search Ranking Factors report.

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7 Response Comments

  • Gerry A Foster  September 1, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Dan you do such a great job of explaining complicated things easily. Thanks for even more ammo for the “Shoe Cobblers son” conversations.

    • Dan Leibson  September 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Gerry!

  • Jeffrey Magner  September 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Well, yes I’d have to jump on the bandwagon with your results. That was a great opportunity to research this. Citations are in fact, foundational. GMB optimization (and reviews) & location pages (and links) are what improves rankings vs competitors. But without that foundation of (accurate) citations, ranking improvements can vary widely.

  • Nick Pierno  September 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Interesting findings. Thanks for doing this research and giving some formal credence to what I think a lot of us suspected to be the case!

    • Dan Leibson  September 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks Nick!

  • Kevan Hancock  November 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Dan, great study. I assume the dup suppression took affect 1/11 on the graph on page 4. Will you confirm?

    • Dan Leibson  November 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Kevin, can confirm 🙂