Source: BrightLocal Citation Building Survey 2013

Nyagoslav Zhevkov has a great overview of a survey on local citations Bright Local conducted in September.  There are a few good insights in the post, but this one stood out for me:

“For the question “What is more important – quantity or quality of citations?” I would have answered that although quality is crucial, if you do not have sufficient quantity of citations, quality won’t suffice. In many cases people set their profiles up on Yelp, Yellowpages, Yahoo! Local, and even Bing and Nokia, stuff them with as much information as they all, and expect the job is done. Unfortunately, with citations, quantity is also an important factor, at least yet.”

As SEOs, it’s all too easy to find yourself always parroting the “quality over quantity” pitch.  We all want that to be true.  But my experience has been that quantity of ridiculous, virtually useless citations, particularly “unstructured” citations (e.g. UGC pages that contain a business’ NAP + keywords) can still move the needle for local keywords.

At some point this tactic may stop working – and the most sustainable SEO still relies on quality all around – but as Nyagoslav says “Unfortunately” quantity too often trumps quality.

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One Response Comment

  • Myles  October 21, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for taking part in the survey and for covering it on you blog.

    The guiding principal for citation building has got to be focus on the highest quality sites first and then build out the long tail of lower quality, niche, local, un-structured etc… after that.

    This way you’re ensuring that you get maximum impact early on in your citation building, but you’re continuing to build up your quantity to surpass your local competitors.

    The key is then to determine how many citations is enough at a certain point in time? (i.e. when having 1 more citation won’t make a difference to your ranking)

    Of course as the SEO & competitor landscape changes you may find that in 6 months it’s advantages to go out and build additional citations again.

    Thanks, Myles