Citation Builder Services


AustinGuy

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Hello, I'm considering using a service to build citations. I'm looking at brightlocal which seems to be a pretty good deal. There are others out there i know like whitespark. Just wondering if there is any downside or problem with this. It looks like the citations would be all the exact same as far as description...Is this a problem?

Also, is it a problem do you think to add 25 or 50 or 100 citations in a day or should i space them out over a few weeks.

Your help is very much appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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I don't deal with citations at all and build rank other ways - mainly with on-site SEO which has more impact on boosting ranking in the current algo.

But if new business without an existing base of citations OR dealing with a move or bad citations it's good to hire someone to help.

BrightLocal and Whitespark are 2 of the top services. The other one I'd consider is Nyagoslav who is a fellow Google Top Contributor and does a great job with citations.
Citation Building and Local Directory Submission by NGS Marketing
 

Broland

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You might want to read this post I just made on the forum regarding using unique descriptions: http://localsearchforum.catalystema...ns-citations-duplicate-content.html#post22615

And now for my self plug :D

I'm the Co-Founder of DirectoryBug and with the help of others, I've spent years developing a superior listing service. The option of choosing a number desired unique descriptions are one of the many things that help make it the most effective online business listing service.
 

erjdavis

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I'd also take a look into using someone from fiverr.com or come up with some detailed instructions and you can hire someone at a very affordable price on elance.com
 

Marie Ysais

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Using a service can help free up some of your time. Remember the citations that you add may not be crawled by Google so I would help Google find the more important citations. Brightlocal and Whitespark are the best in the business. If you prefer a human to add them Odesk is another good resource.
 

sodomojo

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I have somebody that I have worked with for a long time on Fiverr. She provides really good work and does everything manually. I pull a report from Bright Local showing which citations have been claimed and then I specify which ones to claim. For 25 citations at $5 you can't beat it. She'll send a report back showing what she did, and register everything using the gmail account that I set up.

Can somebody tell me the advantages of hiring whitespark or brightlocal? I've seen the service available in my bright local account, but from what I recall it was much more expensive than hiring somebody from Fiverr.

That's about the only good thing I've found on Fiverr lol.
 

Jim Froling

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I looked at both Bright Local and Whitespark, eventually going with the latter. I've been pleased with their work.

In the past I used "stay at home moms" (mostly wives of Marines) but I found that the learning curve was too steep to handle in some cases. Had a very bright, tenacious mom who figured stuff out on her own. She recruited other Marine Moms (I called them my "Grunts", because they did my grunt work:D). She then became my "go to support" for her recruits which saved me a bunch of time, which I appreciated later when her hubby got back from Afghanistan, he left the service and they went home to NC. Then the management of the rest of the "grunts" fell back on me. Spent more time training them, fixing their mistakes, etc. than running the biz.

This is basically the same fear I have of enlisting a fiverr or elance-er. I need the work done but don't have time to train, re-train, troubleshoot...repeat. So Whitespark seems like a good value. Yeah, it can be done for less but they do it right.

And isn't that what I tell my clients about other local SEO companies vs. mine?
 
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First, thanks Linda for mentioning me.

1. Description for the citations:

I would generally agree with Broland - having the same description everywhere is not the best option. However, it is also not a very smart option to have unique description everywhere, either. Is there a person who could summarize their business in 50 completely unique different ways, each within 150-250 symbols (not words)? I don't think so. That is why when asked this question, I suggest that unique descriptions are used as much as possible at least on the top 6-7 platforms, especially the ones that are more likely to rank for brand terms, such as Yellowpages, Yelp, Citysearch, Insiderpages, Merchant Circle. These are also the platforms that are (generally) most likely to be interacted with by actual people, so their usability would be of greater importance. And that is also why we normally ask for at least 3 different descriptions.

2. Spacing-out citations:

I don't really think this is necessary, because I have never seen any evidence of Google using citation "velocity" as a ranking factor. In the bottom of its system, Google is not able to use such a factor with as good accuracy as they would like simply because their local listings clusters are updated on a monthly/bi-monthly basis. Additionally, it takes different amount of time for different citations to be first indexed as pages, and then included in the business data index. This period depends on the popularity of the platform, trustworthiness of the platform, how often new content is added, and if Google has any official relationship for data exchange with the platform. So it is very possible that if you add a listing today to angieslist.com (for example), it might actually go into Google's business data index LATER than if you add a listing in 6 weeks on Citysearch. So spacing-out citations is rather useless.

3. Hiring someone from Fiverr/Elance/Odesk vs. hiring a professional

The cost will obviously be lower. However, citation building is not just about getting a bunch of listings on a bunch of websites. A very comprehensive research has to be completed prior to the start of the process in order to discover ALL currently existing citations for a business. And believe me, there is no business older than 2 months that doesn't have any citations. Additionally, there is practically no automated tool currently available that discovers all citations for a business. That is why in our research process we use the following:
- Yext Local Search Scorecard
- GetListed.org
- Whitespark Local Citation Finder
- Bright Local Citation Tracker
- SweetIQ's Local Marketing platform
In addition to these, we run manual checks both through Google, Bing AND through some of the websites that we know from experience feature a lot of listings that are generally not indexed by Google (for instance, Kudzu, Local.com, Insiderpages are indexed very badly; LocalEze and Axciom are not indexed).

Just my two cents :)

Nyagoslav
 

Colan Nielsen

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I suggest that unique descriptions are used as much as possible at least on the top 6-7 platforms, especially the ones that are more likely to rank for brand terms, such as Yellowpages, Yelp, Citysearch, Insiderpages, Merchant Circle. These are also the platforms that are (generally) most likely to be interacted with by actual people, so their usability would be of greater importance. And that is also why we normally ask for at least 3 different descriptions.
Awesome points Nyagoslav!

What type of creative process do you use to deliver the same message 3 different ways? Or what advice do you give business owners so that they can deliver you three different descriptions for the same service?

Do you use different descriptions solely for the usability factor that you mentioned, or are you also seeing that using the same description can get you into trouble with the local algo?
 

Jim Froling

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websites that we know from experience feature a lot of listings that are generally not indexed by Google (for instance, Kudzu, Local.com, Insiderpages are indexed very badly; LocalEze and Axciom are not indexed).


Nyagoslav
I'm a little confused here...Kudzu, Local.com, InsiderPages are NOT indexed or ARE but indexed badly? Can you explain difference between "good" and "bad" indexing?

LocalEze and Axciom are not indexed? They are primary data providers to Google has been my understanding.

I think Phil Rozek posted on his blog recently that the large data providers (like those above + InfoUSA) are now verifying ownership of submitted businesses. In fact Axciom wants a copy of Tax ID or DBA. LocalEze, after phone verification, hits you with a fee of $295. Seriously(!?).

Any way to sidestep these guys? If they are not indexed, why bother in the first place (especially with the new hoops and $$$ to jump through)?
 
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Awesome points Nyagoslav!

What type of creative process do you use to deliver the same message 3 different ways? Or what advice do you give business owners so that they can deliver you three different descriptions for the same service?

Do you use different descriptions solely for the usability factor that you mentioned, or are you also seeing that using the same description can get you into trouble with the local algo?
We normally ask them for 3 different descriptions. If they ask "Why", I explain them pretty much what I explained in my previous post. I normally suggest that they keep it short.

I honestly haven't seen any trouble coming from having the same description on a variety of citation sources. It theoretically should have slight negative impact, but I don't think it is easily noticeable and extractable.

I'm a little confused here...Kudzu, Local.com, InsiderPages are NOT indexed or ARE but indexed badly? Can you explain difference between "good" and "bad" indexing?

LocalEze and Axciom are not indexed? They are primary data providers to Google has been my understanding.

I think Phil Rozek posted on his blog recently that the large data providers (like those above + InfoUSA) are now verifying ownership of submitted businesses. In fact Axciom wants a copy of Tax ID or DBA. LocalEze, after phone verification, hits you with a fee of $295. Seriously(!?).

Any way to sidestep these guys? If they are not indexed, why bother in the first place (especially with the new hoops and $$$ to jump through)?
The mentioned sites are indexed "badly". What I mean by this is that apparently the structure of these websites is not too well comprehended by Google (for some reason, which I haven't researched). Thus, if you search for "[Brand Name] + [phone number]" or just for "[phone number], listings on these websites will very rarely pop up.

Regarding LocalEze and Axciom - these are indeed not indexed by Google. There are a few different ways in which Google obtains business information. One of them is through finding the information while crawling the web (indexing web pages). Other way is by being directly fed or purchasing the data from a data provider. That is the case with LocalEze (confirmed) and Axciom (speculative). Additionally, while not being indexed, these data sources provide business information to third-parties, which in turn get this data to their websites, and then it gets indexed. Nevertheless, $300 per year for a LocalEze listing is indeed too steep. It is not hard to find a reseller that might provide listings for 3-5 times lower rates :)

Nyagoslav
 
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I schedule citations over time, how we do it depends on the local competitive analysis and what is needed for the client in their current market.

We tend to prefer manual on the main directories and are currently testing BrightLocal and WhiteSpark as options. But we also just pay for additional submissions to an outsource team, some will stick and some may not but if we need thousands (such as in one case we are working on) then we mix it up between both.

We've not used fiverr for citations, but just to share, I recently hired both a high priced freelancer and a guy from fiverr, the fiverr guy delivered a good quality product on deadline--edit requests were quick. The freelancer (known as a rockstar) was over a week and a half late on delivery and his quality wasn't good enough--and we paid 5x the price, had to get him to do it again, and it was late.

Anyway, just sayin' that you can find quality people different places and creativity and open mindedness can lead you to some gems.
 
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Nyagoslav beat me to the response. I completely agree with everything he has said:


  1. It's good to vary the description on the key sites, but there is no need to stress about having completely unique descriptions across dozens or hundreds of sites. We don't explicitly provide the option on Whitespark's service, but we have had a few clients request unique descriptions and we've been happy to accommodate the request when they supply the different descriptions. We should perhaps put this up as an optional feature when ordering.

  2. Nyagoslav nailed it on citation velocity. This is a non-issue. No need to space out the citation building.
  3. Hiring vs professional. You may be able to find good people if you dig really hard, but as we build thousands of citations per month and have over 11 full-time citation builders, I can tell you that it's hard to find the right people for the work. There are a lot of nuances and details you have to pay attention to. You can negatively affect your rankings if mistakes are made. We have a rigorous training process and find that it takes new team members a couple of months to get up to speed.

Nyagoslav is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry when it comes to citations. Perhaps THE most knowledgeable. His service may be competitive with mine, but I highly recommend his service. I'm not saying his service is better, I'm just saying that you'll be in very good hands with his service, as you would with ours. When we are completely booked (as often happens), I refer clients to him.

Darren
 
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Wow Darren, way to take the high road and what a great reply. Knowing you I know that's just the way you are.

I have ultimate respect for both of you and the caliber of services you both offer.

And have to say there is no way I would trust citation building to someone on fivr or oDesk. And if I did citations for clients I would not hire someone internally to do them either because of this "There are a lot of nuances and details you have to pay attention to. You can negatively affect your rankings if mistakes are made."

If I ever needed citations built, I would hire one of these pros. The cost is reasonable and with something like this, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.
 

Phil Rozek

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Yeah, definitely don't pinch pennies when it comes to citations. I would not suggest the Fiverr/ODesk/ELance route.

I know Whitespark and BrightLocal would do a great job (from all accounts I've heard, they do), but I've referred several people to Nyagoslav, and they've been very happy with the results.
 
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Thanks for all the kind words, Darren and Phil!

I can very well relate to what Darren said regarding time for new citation builders to get up to speed. It is not really as easy as, for instance, link building, although it sounds similar. The research process is of utmost importance and you need significant experience to be able to make it right. I do myself about 80% of the research work for all our clients, and just leave the more straight-forward cases to my more experienced staff. The ones that are newer than 2 months don't even touch the research work for real clients.
 

Dave

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I like to do stuff DIY: If I go outside I'd look to Nyagoslav and/or Darren immediately. Those two are tremendous experts on the topic.

IMHO citation building is more complex and time consuming today than in the past and likelier more expensive.
 

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