BBB Accreditation: Boring But Bumps Your Local SEO - Phil Rozek

Linda Buquet

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Here's another great post from Phil Rozek. This one is about the SEO value of the BBB.

<a href="http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2015/01/28/bbb-accreditation-boring-but-bumps-your-local-seo/">BBB Accreditation: Boring But Bumps Your Local SEO | LocalVisibilitySystem.com</a>

Head over to check out the benes!
 

Tim Colling

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Not that Phil's article needs my affirmation or anything, but as usual I agree 100% with what Phil says about this.

Advertising by using BBB "accreditation" (boy, what nonsense that is) is one of the most under-valued SEO tools out there. Even if you believe, as I do, that the BBB is little more than an advertising scheme. It's nowhere close to being an extortionist in the same league as Yelp, but it certainly is "up there" with the big leagues in the advertising shakedown world.

Nonetheless, that link (or those links) back to your client's site, once they're indexed, will make a SERPs difference most of the time.
 

Linda Buquet

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Barry just shared this post over at Search Engine Roundtable and a couple commenters said they didn't think BBB links would help. Here is my reply

Actually Dan and Andrew, in Local SEO things are a little different. Yes it's mainly still the organic algo at play underneath, but there is something on top for local that many do not realize.

In local there are all kinds of scams, fake businesses, even companies that try to hijack competitor listings. There are also lots of businesses that try to set up fake listings in different cities just to try to rank. (Lots more, those are just a few examples.)

So BBB and Chamber and industry association links I believe boost trust that the business is real AND it's really located there. A fake unlicensed locksmith for example won't bother with a BBB listing and would not even be approved.

Trust carries a lot of weight in local!

Now that's not to say getting ANY single link is going to move the ranking needle necessarily. There is hardly any single action these days that will, given the complex local algo we have today.

But accumulated trust points that give Google confidence the business is real AND really located there, do all come together to help ranking IMHO.

I know that's a different concept than pure organic, but doesn't it make some sense to those of you that really specialize in Local?
 

Tim Colling

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Maybe this is a case of, "your mileage may vary".

That's certainly been the case for me, with chambers of commerce. Many of them have adopted web applications that only display members' NAPW info in as search results, not as listings on static web pages. In those cases, there's little benefit (probably none at all) from an SEO standpoint, right?

But many others in the SEO business speak of CofC citations because, in their experience, they had clients with chambers that DID list members in formats that could be crawled by the searchbots.
 

Phil Rozek

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I agree, Tim. Not all Chambers help the ol' local visibility/SEO that much. In any case, I doubt that the citation matters much, compared to the link.
 

Mike Friedman

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Advertising by using BBB "accreditation" (boy, what nonsense that is) is one of the most under-valued SEO tools out there. Even if you believe, as I do, that the BBB is little more than an advertising scheme. It's nowhere close to being an extortionist in the same league as Yelp, but it certainly is "up there" with the big leagues in the advertising shakedown world.

Nonetheless, that link (or those links) back to your client's site, once they're indexed, will make a SERPs difference most of the time.
Off topic and nothing to do with the SEO value of the site, but actually I would argue that the BBB is light years ahead of Yelp in terms of shady and borderline illegal business practices.

This is a few years old, but highlights some of the shady practices of the BBB.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8kfV9kONw

It is a total garbage organization run by dirtballs.
 

Linda Buquet

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Does anyone know if there is a UK version of the BBB?
Yahoo answers told me: Trading Standards Institute - Trading Standards Institute

And here's the consumer facing site where vetted members are listed:
Consumer companion - Trading Standards Institute

Here is a random listing: Your search results - Trading Standards Institute and it looks like it's just a business directory listing from Your Local Business Directory & Forum | Free Advertising

I don't really have time to dig too deep. That's just what I saw at 1st glance.
 

Tim Colling

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...I would argue that the BBB is light years ahead of Yelp in terms of shady and borderline illegal business practices...It is a total garbage organization run by dirtballs.
I'm not privy to the grounding that you have for your assertion, and so I accept that you believe what you believe. This may vary somewhat from one BBB franchisee to the next (they seem to be essentially some sort of franchise-like operation).

For me, here in the San Diego market, the BBB is a somewhat heavy-handed advertising scheme. Yelp, though, is simply evil. Not the people there, mind you, but their business practices.

The problem with both of them, and especially Yelp, is that they really don't have any meaningful competitors.

I don't know more than I know from my own personal experiences. Others' mileage may vary.
 

Todd McCall

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A topic came up in this thread that I've really been wrestling with.

I have a personal injury law client who is considering joining some local chambers of commerce and regional bar associations primarily just for the link and citation.

But these memberships aren't cheap. Assuming that we understand enough to see that these organizations to offer a real citation and link, is it generally considered worthwhile / best practice to go after these for local SEO.
 

JacobMaslow

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What he means is that some Chamber's give links that Google cannot see. The member directory requires the user to input a search term.

In this case, Google does not associate the client with the chamber as citations and links aren't being indexed. It is on a database that is effectively invisible to google.

Google cannot input anything. I only saw this once and could not believe that there was no SEO workaround put in place by the chamber. There was no added text for google nor was there any extra pages listing all members.

Further, nearly all chambers fail to optimize the directory. Getting to the member actual links are usually several clicks from the home page.

If you are working local SEO, especially if you focus in a regional market, you need to educate the chamber. This sort of thing is unintentional and they really want to promote the members.

Lastly, I have several businesses that go the extra mile with their chamber and professional association. They get nice links by virtue of a project that they do or being on the board. If chamber has no indexable outbound links and your client is one of the few that have one, that makes it more valuable.

---------- Post Merged at 03:42 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:33 AM ----------

These things bump up the rankings. It is not paid links. Associations have fees but you are not paying for a link.

Further, Google does not have a problem with using paid directories as long as the link isnt automatically given to anyone. If the site says "submit your link, PR 5", they will devalue it completely. If there is an editorial process, and they have a policy of rejecting sites that do not meet criteria, it is fine.

BBB has extremely strict standards. It is a strong signal over all and a good local one. Also, links from professional and trade associations are meaningful and it is worth the price.

If I wanted info about payroll and there is a site that has links from the American Payroll Association and other employer groups, Google will likely show it as it has more relevant authority and likely to have the info I need.

If google was to ignore professional, trade and business association links, the search engine would be useless. Obviously nearly every association needs to charge fees to be sustainable.
 

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