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  1. #1
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    'Disavowing' citations

    Hi,
    I hope you good people can help!

    I wrote a giant background to my problem but decided to delete it because I'm not sure how relevant it was (plus my situation is so confusing I was confusing myself, let alone you guys).

    In the simplest terms I can mange, my problem is this.

    I work for an SMB which has multiple locations (15 branches across the UK) and a very confusing history when it comes to our trading name because we took over a business several years ago in the same niche.

    This is reflected in our citations.

    I have done a huge amount of work cleaning up our citations and getting people to update from the old trading name to the new trading name.

    However, I thought I would do a deep dive into the citations we had for one branch in particular. This is because it is based in a a major city of the UK and we come up 3rd in the new local map listings so I wanted to see how we could improve.

    Now this branch is one of the ones we took over years ago which means there are still a bunch of citations which have the old trading name on it. This is obviously inconsistent with our GMB (or whatever its called now) page.

    My problem is this - whilst I have a bunch of consistent citations for this branch, I also have a bunch (16 to be exact) of citations which I cannot change. These citations are on real garbage pages that I never would have bothered trying to get a citation on. It looks to me like they were placed on there over 5 years ago by the people from the company we took over (which obviously has the old business name listed instead of the correct, current one).

    For 9 of these garbage pages, I have at least found a contact form (if not an email address) to try and ask them to update the details. Seeing as a lot of them don't seem to be updated any more however, I hold out very little chance that even one of these sites will actually bother changing the details for me.

    For the rest, there is simply no way whatsoever of contacting them in any way, shape or form. They have absolutely no contact details whatsoever.

    What this means is that these citations will pretty much just sit there forever and day even though I have tried my hardest to get them removed or updated to the real details.

    What I want to know is, is there a way of 'disavowing' a citation?

    If you search our business these citations do come up in google searches. Because I have no way of getting rid of the bad citations, is the answer simply volume to try and drown the bad citations out?

  2. #2
    Member Since
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    You can't really "disavow" a citation, since that term is a reference to Google's "Disavow" tool which allows you to tell G which links you were either responsible for creating in the past, known links from someone else's work, or suspicious links that violate the webmaster guidelines. There are many sites which won't let you update citations without paying an advertising fee, so that's a common issue.

    Without knowing the specific sites/URLs to look into, it's hard to give any actionable advice or provide real help. If you know for sure you won't be able to update them no matter what, my recommendation is to focus on updating the major sites potential customers are most likely to find and continue to build with new sites. Depending on which sites you're dealing with there may be a way to contact their support team to update the information, but that might tough. I would also check which aggregator those sites are buying data from and go upstream to correct bad information.

    You can only control so much when it comes to citations...
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
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  3. #3
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    Thanks Eric,

    I used the disavow term because a specialised disavow tool for citations would be extremely useful for citation clean-up (especially for the times when the sites demand payment from you or if the sites are totally, completely uncontactable). I guess it would be absurdly easy to abuse though

    Without such a tool I'm pretty much forced into having inconsistent NAP data in an area where having a squeaky clean NAP profile is especially important.

    Oh well, at least I'm 3rd and not 4th for most of my main search terms, so I guess it's not a total disaster.

    I'll keep working on making sure the ones I can control are as perfect as I can get them. Our client base are old age pensioners so getting reviews is....tricky.

  4. #4
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    Most sites buy data from larger companies (much like list buying for sales). Find where the major sources where the data is incorrect and update those as soon as you can. Otherwise you're going to be stuck in a treadmill of updating bad information only to have it revert back a couple months later.

    If you want to give some info about the business, I'm sure others here can help with more concrete suggestions.
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
    Follow me on Twitter
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  5. #5
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    Totally agree with Eric. It would be nice, but none exists.

    Moved this post to the Citation Subforum, where citation pros like Darren from Whitespark hangout and where it's more on target than general local search.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  6. #6
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    Without such a tool I'm pretty much forced into having inconsistent NAP data in an area where having a squeaky clean NAP profile is especially important.

    In this statement is that an inconsistent NAP is somehow a negative factor. I think that assumption is false.

    In the pre 2012 era they might have created a duplicate which would have been a problem. Post 2012 that is not very likely.

    If Google can't associate the directory listing with your business you won't get credit for it (although these don't sound credit worthy) but you won't in any way be dinged like you would with bad links under manual or penguin.

    They are not helping you and they aren't hurting. Ignore then and focus on things that matter.

  7. #7
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    I think this has already been answered well, but I thought I'd add my thoughts.

    What I want to know is, is there a way of 'disavowing' a citation?
    You can disavow citations just like any other link using Google's disavow tool. But, all that that will accomplish is ask Google to treat them like nofollowed links. They won't get removed from the web.

    I have seen so many businesses that have dug themselves a deep hole by trying to disavow citation links. Some of them, even if they look spammy, can actually be helping a site out. So, if you disavow the wrong ones, you can cause problems.

    That said, it sounds like you're asking for a way to clean these off of the web. It doesn't sound to me like you can do anything more than you're already doing. If these are ultra spammy keyword anchored "citations" then yes, I'd disavow them. Otherwise I'd just ignore them and move on.

  8. #8
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    The only citations that I worry about or should I say obsess over are those with:

    1. Phone verification, address verification, other verification like acxiom and Facebook will ask for business license or corporation documents
    2. A support team that is responsive.

    I don't believe Google is that concerned about the rest.

    Worry or focus on the items that spammers never will, BBB, local chambers of commerce, city license, county license, state license, dun and Bradstreet etc.

    Or their equivalents in the UK. I'm not too familiar over the pond. I believe that's the expression.

    Those will really move the needle IMO


    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Re: 'Disavowing' citations

    THIS:

    Quote Originally Posted by mblumenthal View Post
    Without such a tool I'm pretty much forced into having inconsistent NAP data in an area where having a squeaky clean NAP profile is especially important.

    In this statement is that an inconsistent NAP is somehow a negative factor. I think that assumption is false.

    In the pre 2012 era they might have created a duplicate which would have been a problem. Post 2012 that is not very likely.

    If Google can't associate the directory listing with your business you won't get credit for it (although these don't sound credit worthy) but you won't in any way be dinged like you would with bad links under manual or penguin.

    They are not helping you and they aren't hurting. Ignore then and focus on things that matter.
    Darren Shaw | Whitespark Founder
    http://www.whitespark.ca | @DarrenShaw_ | Google+

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