This cheeky post – SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors – caught the attention of James Johnson, Group Manager of Skunk Works (great title btw) over at Supermedia. James took my concerns back to his company and it looks like they are going to remove the nofollow tags only for links that they have reviewed, which is as it should be. He left the following comment on the post this morning:
Ok, we have this in our development queue. We have some pretty cool stuff for our clients that we’re working on ahead of this enhancement, a little bit of which I’ll plug below.
Currently this link goes through a tracking mechanism and not directly to the domain itself, so just removing the nofollow to a business’s link currently on the business profile will not have the benefit you’re implying. We will follow the link from the business profile’s verified domain to aid in search engine discovery of all of our clients who have a website.
We will do this for advertisers and not just any business profile. The reason why is this: These are businesses that we have an established realtionship with, have had some contact with, and have therefore had the opportunity to review the business’s website, information and content. It’s simply a good quality check for us to make sure we’re not linking to just anything and to avoid any increase in spam to the business profile setup here: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/landingpages.do?splash=74&campaignId=cjbr
Businesses wanting to review their internet packages should call: (866) 311-4186
For businesses and their webmasters wanting a shorter click path from the homepage of Superpages.com to their business profile, they should enhance the content on their business profiles. It’s important to add as much content as possible for users of Superpages.com like enhancing the description, adding MULTIPLE pictures, adding the company’s logo, and getting their customer reviews on their business profile. Add content from the ‘Claim this Listing’ link on the business profile itself (just below the ‘info’ tab), or simply go here to get started: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/landingpages.do?splash=74&campaignId=cjbr
The more content, the better for businesses. We use this content in MANY different ways and it is very much a part of our own ranking algorithm for users of Superpages.com, Switchboard.com and Localsearch.com ( http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2010/03/19/supermedia-debuts-relevancy-based-search/ ) and content amount and quality also factors into how we choose businesses to feature.
We’re also a trusted source for this information for Google local (including maps and pages), Yahoo local, Bing and MANY other outlets on the Internet and in a mobile environment. So distribution of your information to those sources and many others from Superpages.com is already taken care of, advertiser or not.
While ALL pieces of business profile content are extremely valuable for the business’s marketing campaign, here’s a tip – add coupons to your business profiles. We’re doing fun stuff with these:
( http://twitter.com/sp_dallas http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?org=aj#5003/0.40326=k:coupon&o=&a=0/5872/style=auto&lat=32.799999&lon=-96.787003&z=11&pid=5874 )
and we are greatly expanding the distribution points and partners of coupons, so make sure when adding content to your business profiles, to include a promotion through coupon creation and we’ll include it in our current and yet to be released distribution channels. You can quickly set those up here: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/business-listings/coupons and we’ll review it before distributing.
Will post back once this enhancement is live.
Nice work James and thanks for listening to a pesky blogger.
Side note to self: Perhaps I was a bit hasty in the pursuit of a great headline, but after reading James’ response and reflecting on this for more than ten seconds, the effort that Superpages is making to get better advertiser data on their profiles should help with SEO regardless of whether or not the links are nofollowed, as Superpages is an important source of citations for ranking in Google Maps/Local. Group hug anyone?
22 Response Comments
Yeah it is a pretty sweet title.
Nice profile name
Dude. You rock.
also, hey Local SEO – FYI NOT spamming your anchor text can be a good thing for your biz. My comments on this blog are one of my best sources of referral traffic. Somebody even called me once, but I felt weird and told them to talk to Andrew. Being part of a high profile industry conversation probably has more value than a nofollowed blog comment.
Chris, feel free to grab leads from here any time 🙂
So, if I read this correctly, this only applies to advertisers on SuperPages? That doesn’t really solve the problem.
True to some extent Jason, but as I mentioned in the side note, this may be a tempest in a tea pot as these citations with or without the nofollow likely help in Maps rankings anyhow.
I agree that SuperPages is still helpful for Maps rankings, and should be included as part of a local search strategy. To me, however, from a sales perspective, I think it makes sense to offer a do-follow link to all members. The fact that SuperPages offers do-follow would attract more SEOs to use their service (granted, SuperPages’ primary audience is probably the Mom and Pop/small business owner who may not be technically savvy), but it seems like you would cast a wider net by offering a do-follow link.
Having a do-follow link would make me want to spend more time adding content to my SuperPages profile in order to make the page incredibly relevant to my site, making the link even more valuable.
I recognize that offering a do-follow link to anyone would require a bit more work on SuperPages’ end to monitor for spam, etc. But shouldn’t they be doing this anyway? An approval process allows for many touchpoints for upselling your services.
Also would be nice if SuperPages (and other local directories) made it easier for Local SEOers like us to submit business listings with some sort of electronic verification process (like GWT’s HTML upload verification, for example).
In total agreement Jason.
It’s impossible to experience one’s death objectively and still carry a tune.
Could be the Best.Comment.Ever. on the blog
I love that you delete the comments from spam bots, but allow the spammy comments from certain people that should know better stand as a memorial to their incompetence.
I keep reading that comment and it still blows my mind.
Listings in super-pages is always an authoritative source of citation – no matter if it is dofollow or no follow.
I just wanted to stop by and give you a quick update on things here at Superpages.com regarding seo love. As of last week, we will no longer be using nofollow tags when linking to an advertiser’s website from their business profile.
To follow up on what James Johnson said in late May, we will do this for advertisers and not just any business profile. In the search engines’ eyes when a site links to another, they pass part of their reputation to that site. Of course search engines are constantly monitoring both inbound and outbound links, which is why it is a priority to make sure we are not linking to any bad neighborhoods.
As you know, links are only one small part of the ranking process. It isn’t a coincidence that the websites that rank well are already optimized for their target keywords. You may have many links, but if you aren’t saying the right things in terms of titles, headings, and keywords, it won’t matter as much in the end. Get some relevant content, compliant code, and you will take better advantage of those links.
We work hard to establish a strong reputation and serve as a trusted source for consumers and businesses. Now, via follow links, our advertisers have yet another reason to trust in us and reap some backlink benefits.
Search Marketing Analyst
Very cool Keith. Well done!
“Andrew Shotland // Jun 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Could be the Best.Comment.Ever. on the blog”
~ And I thought you looked an awful lot like Woody Allen, yet you recognize not this quote? ~
Are you saying I got hit with a duplicate content quotation? Doh!
SuperPages just went back up to for a Local Search marketers Local Listing Optimization Service. Now if only we could ensure that a profile earned a “follow link.” They were falling down on the scale. Nice reversal!
What must you have to be an “advertiser”?
Great input Mike. Thanks.
Since Superpages.com went to the new map format, the results are coming up with random businesses that are not related to the searches. Service Magic listings are usually the first three no matter if they are relevant. I am hoping this will smooth out soon.
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Thanks for the input. To address your question about our listing results page, service magic does a lot of work optimizing their business profile, specifically for local content. Never hurts to revisit your business listing or website and do a quick review of how well they are optimized for your target market. All that being said we are currently working on some enhancements that will “smooth out” some of the listing results pages. Again, appreciate the feedback!
Search Marketing Analyst