Aggregators - are they important?

whiz

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When looking at local SEO packages or guides, I always see the aggregators mentioned - InfoGroup, Localeze, etc.

What do they do? It's driving me crazy trying to figure out...

Also, are they important to local SEO?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Whiz,

The aggregators aggregate data and then parse it out to many directories & publishers.
So instead of getting listings at 30 different sites, one aggregator might do all 30, but no one aggregator covers them all.

Bottom line it's one of the ways most people get citations. It's complicated though.
Check this out from WhiteSpark.

The U.S. 2017 Local Search Ecosystem - Whitespark
 

Eric Rohrback

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Getting the aggregators set up with the correct info is the first line of defense for citation management. Like Linda said, those sites feed data to hundreds of big and small websites who cross-reference that information to make sure their data is correct.

Bad data at the aggregator level can spread like a virus and create more work for the person trying to keep the info consistent across the web.

Services like Whitespark, BrightLocal, and Moz Local can help knock out all the aggregators at once and save you some time.
 

JoshuaMackens

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When looking at local SEO packages or guides, I always see the aggregators mentioned - InfoGroup, Localeze, etc.

What do they do? It's driving me crazy trying to figure out...

Also, are they important to local SEO?
This is our article about Moz Local but it explains the data aggregators in depth.

Hope it helps.

What is Moz Local? A 2016 Moz Local Review
 
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When It comes to Local SEO, Data aggregators are really important.
P:S- Never use brightlocal citation services. They just build citation for the sake of building citation.
 

Eric Rohrback

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What do you mean, "They just build citation for the sake of building citation"? That doesn't make a ton of sense out of context.

Either you gave them a citation that they were unable to create, in which case they substituted for another on their list, or they weren't notified whether there could be duplicates (you have to tell them about address changes).

I've used them dozens of times and the only issue I had was when they couldn't get the citation I wanted for whatever reason and substituted with a different site. That happens. Whether you build manually or another person does it manually, you can't always get placement on all the sites you want because of moderation issues or they force you to advertise to get space.
 
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What do you mean, "They just build citation for the sake of building citation"?
I am talking about their quality. They use few basic information like Name, Address, Phone, Website, Description and possibly the logo. But the quality citation is much more than that. For business listings, I prefer to use-
  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone Number
  4. Website
  5. A Well-Written Description
  6. Geo-Tagged Images
  7. Video (If Available)
  8. Products/Services
  9. Tag Line/Slogan
  10. Social Media Profiles
Last Month, one of my client ordered Aggregators listings and they couldn't even use the data I provided which created data inconsistency as well as they are showing an existing listing from 2015 (Infogroup) as Live and the cost is very high.
 

Eric Rohrback

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True, but if you create citations manually and are only opting for free versions for most sites, then the basic info is all you get. You need to pay for "Premium" listings if you want all that info, which isn't what Brightlocal does. They create manual submissions on sites you tell them to.

To be fair to them, everything you listed is something you need to provide them in the creation process. Whether they could use it on the free listings they're creating for you is a different story.

If you want all of that, the options are to use a service like Yext which has a partnership with the 60+ bigger sites, or go and sign up for premium citations directly through the directory site (if that's something they offer).


Why couldn't they use your client's information? Was the business located at a virtual office? Were they using an 800 number?

The reason I'm pushing back a little here is because I think it's wrong to casually throw in a comment like, "PS, don't use this company..." and not have something substantial to back it up.

I'd like to hear more about what you've experienced, and maybe that will push someone from BrightLocal to check up on it to see if they could make it right for you.
 
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Hi - Myles from BrightLocal here. I saw this thread and wanted to participate to clear up any confusion or concern.

Firstly, sorry to OnlineLobstar if you didn't find our service valuable. We have over 3000 agencies who regularly use our citation building service and get very good feedback on the results and value of it.

Secondly, we're always happy to get feedback, good or bad, because it helps us improve our service. So i would be delighted to jump on a call with OnlineLobstar to discuss concerns; you can reach me at myles@brightlocal.com and lets talk.

Thirdly, thank you to Eric for championing us and providing such rational answers.

In reply to OnlineLobstar's points -

1. Not enough data fields - we ask customers to provide up to 30 different pieces of data about their business - including full category and service lists, descriptions, 4 images, social links. We actually ask for a lot more data than most other citation building services do. Usually customers complain that we ask for too much and we tell them it's important to have this information on citations.

2. Data not displayed - as Eric mentioned, when you create a free listing on many sites they limit the information you can provide. They charge a significant fee to display other information and we don't believe the added value of this data is worth the cost they charge - often $10-$30/month per site.

3. 'Citations for citation sake' - we're here to serve customers. We let you choose how many sites and which sites you want submission/update on. We never advise customers to do more than they need, although we do advise they do aggregators + manual submissions to most valuable sites. To back this up please look at our recently published Expert Citation guide; it advises a similar strategy and says that doing lots of citations isn't necessary, which chimes with the advice we give customers directly - Expert Local Citation Survey: How Important Are Local SEO Citations?

4. We're not perfect - building citations does have it's issues and unexpected situations - but which part of SEO isn't?! So i'm the first to say we're not perfect. But we handle 60,000+ every month and have become very adapt at handling most cases. We also have a large support team who are responsive to issues that do arise.

Sorry i've gone on longer than planned. But i wanted to address your main concerns and would be happy to jump on that call to discuss further.

Thanks to you both.

Myles
 

Louis Nava

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So happy you replied to this thread Myles. I particularly like #3 on your list.

Specifically "aggregators + manual submissions to most valuable sites" and "doing lots of citations isn't necessary"

I can't speak for your Citation Guide because I haven't read it...but....

These methods are tried and true.. Many great wins under my belt because of aggregators and manual submissions, when done correctly. And not very time consuming either.

So many digital marketing companies will tell you otherwise (ie. YEXT and Dex-"Dont"-Know) because they refuse to build relationships with their clients and just want to sell you software at a monthly rate.

I'm happy there are still truly honest digital marketing companies around. Thanks Myles.

3. 'Citations for citation sake' - we're here to serve customers. We let you choose how many sites and which sites you want submission/update on. We never advise customers to do more than they need, although we do advise they do aggregators + manual submissions to most valuable sites. To back this up please look at our recently published Expert Citation guide; it advises a similar strategy and says that doing lots of citations isn't necessary, which chimes with the advice we give customers directly - Expert Local Citation Survey: How Important Are Local SEO Citations?
 
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Thanks Louis.

For every unscrupulous, low grade, sales-drive agency there are 4-5 genuine ones that work in their customers' interests. At least that's my take from those i speak to.

I would advise anyone starting in this industry or doing some digging to take advantage of all the great studies and surveys available. They're packed full of great advice and opinions which give a rounded view point on almost every tactic and initiative.

And of course there's the local search forum - you can't peddle BS here without getting called out!
 
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When looking at local SEO packages or guides, I always see the aggregators mentioned - InfoGroup, Localeze, etc.

What do they do? It's driving me crazy trying to figure out...

Also, are they important to local SEO?
Hey Whiz!

While investing in directories is something a lot of businesses do, in my experience, I haven't seen it move the needle. Quite often services like Yext, Moz Local, and Whitespark miss the niche directory listings that can actually make a difference.
I work with hyperlocal businesses and we've tried investing in services like these on many occasions. Not only has Yext gotten information wrong in the past like name, address phone number but it also created a lot more work for me. I had to manually go into each directory and fix their mistakes.
If you have a local business focus on the Google My Business, Yelp, and BBB. Research if there are any directory listing for your geography especially ones that are exclusive to your industry.
If you do choose to use a service like this I'd recommend Whitespark.
 

DanLeibson

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I wish someone would aggressively test the values of citations at scale again. Our last big test was a few years ago, and I'm curious if the value of citations/aggregators is continuing to decrease.
 

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