BrightLocal's 2016 Local Citation survey results


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Apologies if this has already been posted and I missed it - but BrightLocal have recently released the results of their 2016 Local Citation survey.

Expert Local Citation Survey 2016

Welcome to the Expert Citation Survey 2016. This survey takes a deep dive into the world of local citations with the help of 21 local search experts who have provided their experience, knowledge & insights. This is the 3rd time we?ve run the survey, having published previous editions in 2013 & 2015.

We asked our local SEO experts 17 questions that would discover how relevant citations are in 2016, how important they are for local businesses and current best practices for building & cleaning up citations.
Some very well known names participated in the survey so if you haven't already, head over to check out their thoughts.

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JustinB

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I can't copy and paste key takeaways, because their twitter sharing button takes each tweet icon and makes into a King Kong size image.

I took a look at this, and it seems like nothing's changed;
niche, quality, media...
 
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  • 90% of local experts say accurate citations are Critical or Very Important to local search ranking
  • 86% of local SEO experts say quality of citations is more important that quantity of citations
  • 'Industry Relevance' is the most important factor to consider when choosing which citation sites to use
  • 33% of local SEO experts say Niche / Industry Directories offer the greatest authority
  • Correct address formatting on Citations is Important but not Critical, say 21 local search experts
  • 62% of local search experts say rich citations are Essential or Very Important

My lame hack of the day: pasting copied text into notepad strips out all styling and images. Thanks for the post Priya!

The results for citation velocity was interesting, and I'd be interesting to hear what others on here have to say. The survey linked above has almost a third of local SEO providers saying they view citation building as an ongoing process. I don't know that that makes sense to me, unless that's purely to find a balance of cost with the client (spending x amount all at once for a 30 day mad dash vs spreading it out over a few months at a much lower monthly cost and a more sane work pace). The expert quotes in that section of the survey line up more with my thoughts than the distribution of what people voted on, especially the comment that it takes a little while for pages to get spidered and counted anyway.

What do you think? Do you vote for indefinite ongoing citation building, or is it more about quality vs quantity, and hitting them at a balanced speed that takes into account client budget and work priority?
 
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I think it depends where the client is at when it comes to citations. Do they have a lot of problems or are they pretty stable? If they chanced locations, name, or have been playing around with tracking numbers then it might be an ongoing process. Basically this all depends on the situation the client is in.
 

JustinB

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James,
I feel citation building atleast to our company starts with the foundational review sites, niche directories etc. I don't recommend going over 40-50 for velocity; whereas some authors don't feel that makes a difference. Again trying to get sandboxed over citations isn't thrilling, but creating a footprint via a ton of citations may not sandbox it, but it will leave a footprint for manual reviewers to consider if something should ever come up in the future and the site gets reviewed.

I think the continual citations was in reference to unstructured citations, found in youtube videos, on sites etc.

Now personally, if I had a site that was in a very competitive local niche, I think taking the time and money to put together a piece of content would be more helpful for local rankings than additional unstructured citations. Whether that content is on your site and you are promoting it with other sites' resource pages, broken links etc., or it's on another's site in the form of collaboration or guest posting.
 
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Justin,

that's exactly my take too. I hadn't thought though about leaving a footprint from building core citations too quickly... if you've personally heard of anyone running into trouble from hitting the core stuff too quickly I'd love to hear about it reconsider what I do for my clients, but for now my strategies with offsite stuff is basically to shotgun the core citations and then move on to a slow and steady backlink building campaign. I haven't really done much with unstructured citations... I saw a comment you left on another thread about doing that on videos, that's a great idea. Sounds like an area I should do a little research on...
 

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