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Local SEO: Backlinking Local Citations

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by B. Friendly, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    During the last week I had occasion to read about a situation with a Boat Rental company in the Florida Keys. They had a problem with their G+ Listing due to physically moving their business a very short distance (50 yards) which had HUGE impact on their G+ listing due to the address being changed.

    While looking into the matter, I noticed that they had a backlink in the footer of every single one of their websites' pages, linking to their G+ listing. At first, my thought was that their SEO guy had done this to try to forward some of their money site's "juice" to their G+ listing (yes, and I thought that was a tremendously stupid idea at that time also), but then it occurred to me that it might be considered "reciprocal backlinking" and not only zero-out the value of the juice going to the G+ listing, but it would also zero-out the juice going to the website also.

    Worst case scenario, given that every single one of their websites pages were backlinked like this, I thought maybe G might see this as an "unnatural profile". The site already had serious issues with spam backlinks and a complete absence of any consistent NAP for the business, and would this be the "final straw" for Google.

    So, I sent an email asking about this possibility to Local SEO guru Andrew Shotland
    Code:
    http://www.localseoguide.com/about-me/
    and surprisingly, I got a personal response within an hour or so.



    He says "it's fine" and truthfully there's a part of me that doesn't believe him. We HAVE to believe the guru, right, but we don't have to like it? It seems highly counter-intuitive to me.

    So, moving past this point, I looked into the idea of backlinking to your G+ listing from other places, Web 2.0's, Squidoo's, etc..., and the consensus seems to be that Google has somehow "armored" their G+ listing so that it does not receive any benefit from being backlinked. I guess this makes some sense, when you consider that the standards Google uses to determine rankings in the Google Local listings are different than organic listings.

    So then this brings me to my latest point, and the point of this thread, which is to consider the value/benefit of backlinking other Social Citations besides the G+ listing. What about Yelp? If you backlink Yelp, do you get any benefit from Google? Can you build a link pyramid to your Yelp listing(s) and from there forward juice to your money site? Or does the juice stay "stuck" at the Yelp listing, and the net result of backlinking to it is that it either pushes your money site lower in the rankings or it pushes competitors off the 1st page.

    WOOT!

    Interested in finding out what other people know, and other people think.

    B. Friendly

     
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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  2. weruncompanies

    weruncompanies Power Member

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    Lol, screw this guy. "Proclaimed" Local SEO Guy. Yet he has ZERO on-page SEO optimization.. Not to mention his website blows. And where is the social factors? He has ZERO on-page social buttons on there.. That guy is just a joke and makes all SEO guy's look bad.
    I'm so sick of these local guys acting like they know their stuff, when in reality they are clueless. These types of guys piss me off...
     
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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  3. reinie

    reinie Elite Member

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    I bookmark and backlink my citations and it does work
     
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  4. glovek77

    glovek77 Power Member

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    Great question. I don't recommend doing it, I can only see something negative happening from this. However, page and domain authority are important factors in local SEO ranking (on page). Off page factors include maps and citations, PM me if you have further questions.
     
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  5. xstumpedx

    xstumpedx Regular Member

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    I was also wondering about this same strategy and if it would be beneficial. Anyone have any results?
     
  6. Moriarty79

    Moriarty79 Junior Member

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    By coincidence I am doing exactly that at the moment using GSA Search Engine Ranker. As far as I am aware, as long as the link to your money site isn't nofollow, then building links to that page should always help. So I am blasting my listing on yelp, yell.com and various other highly authoritative sites that don't nofollow the link they give you on your listing.

    I will report back what results I see but I don't see why it wouldn't help.
     
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  7. Magicbeanz

    Magicbeanz Newbie

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    In my experience backlinking to business listings / citations only helps to get them noticed by Google. Ongoing link building to them is useless and you're much better off building quality links to a location-specific landing page on the website.

    And linkng to the local page from the site is fine. I do it on all my local pages in the footer along with links to other social pages, and i have no problems.
     
  8. xstumpedx

    xstumpedx Regular Member

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    I've been collecting all my citation (business directory) links. Do you suggest building a few backlinks until noticed by Google or just pinging them?
     
  9. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    People make WAY too much out of "getting noticed" by Google.

    Q: If a squirrel farts in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it still smell?
    A: Maybe not, but the fart will still be indexed by Google.

    If a local business has completed it's Google Places/G+ listing(s), including a link to the businesses' website, how could Google possibly NOT index that website?

    I think a lot of the "indexing" concerns and flatulence regarding the importance of "pinging" is pure, 100% bullshit marketing from places like Warrior Forum. And unless someone cares to/has the ability to correct me, my first reaction to anyone that mentions either of these is that they either 1) Don't know what they are talking about, 2) Have been misinformed by someone or 3) Are creating a belief in something that doesn't exist in order to sell a service.
     
  10. xstumpedx

    xstumpedx Regular Member

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    I'm not talking about my business website. I'm talking about the listings on various business directories I have created.

    I have created over 150 listings for one particular location, but can only see 25% of the backlinks. It's been roughly 3 months and I'm asking only to see if there is something in my process I'm not doing correctly or drop those particular business directories and focus on the ones that are showing results.

    From your post I can conclude that "pinging" is bs. What is the answer then?
     
  11. Magicbeanz

    Magicbeanz Newbie

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    Not sure it's something that can be proven or disproved but I would just ping the sites. The major business directories like MerchantCircle, Insiderpages, etc. should be interlinked, so there's little reason to ping these. Now Google Local listing ranks update on approximately a 4-8 week cycle (no one knows for sure, but this is a trustworthy guideline), so it's hard to compare test cases and say if backlinking certain business listings actually results in quicker / better rankings. That's why I generally recommend a few initial links (I social bookmark), and then high quality backlinks to the landing page.
     
  12. MatthewMagicMan

    MatthewMagicMan BANNED BANNED

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    Far better than backlinking the citations is to increase your sites authority (and get some maps gigs from fiverr that list your biz as their favorite place). As long as you index the citations, you're good.
     
  13. BenRoland

    BenRoland Newbie

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    It is actually good to link to a respective google listing from the web site. It helps to "tie together" or "interlink" the two, just like putting the NAP on the web site.

    As far as citations, I often dominate the first page results for local searches with around 7 of 10 results being local business listings. Keep in mind slamming or "blasting" anything with cheap spammy links won't work well... at least not for long. Interlinking, sharing, and updating business listings with fresh and relevant content works wonders though.
     
  14. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I think it's BS, and I can't find anyone to give me a reason to believe otherwise. If you find me on skype (b.friendly1) I can get into the particulars of your situation, but my first inclination would be to wonder what software you are using to find your "backlinks", and also if those backlinks are actually local citations or not.

    Really, I would be amazed if you had a correctly filled-out Google Places and were not indexed. Unless you somehow managed to get yourself DE-indexed, in which case you are being "punished" (Google's word), maybe forever. Also, your site needs to indicate to Google that you are a business that 1) actually exists, 2) exists in a physical location 3) currently "in business".

    People should put some effort at looking at it from Google's perspective. They are trying to provide "relevant" (Google's word) search results. And from a mish-mash of trillions of 1's and 0's, Google has to NOT list businesses went out of business 5 years ago, businesses that changed their name 3 years ago, give phone numbers for businesses that changed their phone number last year, etc...

    Imagine Google's "User Experience" (Google's words) if page 1 of the listings for "san fernando valley CA dentist" included dental supplies, dentists that retired 2 years ago, etc...? Too much is made of the "finer points" of Local SEO, and not nearly enough is underlined about Fundamentals. It's just like basketball. You ain't a superstar if you can't do a lay-up.

    So, what are Local SEO's "Fundamentals"? NAP, NAP, NAP. Consistancy of NAP. Having the NAP be the same, everywhere. Making certain that all the alpha-numeric characters of the NAP are all exactly alike, everywhere. I say this, like this, because this is how it is in real life when I am trying to educate a paying client on "what they need to know". I repeat it over & over again, in as many ways as my fertile imagination can create, hoping for the day when that little 60 watt light bulb above their head turns on and they "get it". And you all are getting the repetition for free, lol.

    What is NAP? Name, Address, Phone Number. When Google looks out on the electronic data horizon and he sees (sorry, but in this mental image Google is GOD HIMSELF, looking down upon you people like the miserable and wretched sinners that you are), you represented under different business names ("Fred's Tires" and "Fred's Used Tires" and "Fred and Wilma's Tires" and "Tires by Che Fred" might all be considered different businesses by the algorithm. Or Google might think "This Fred person has his head up his ass, and can't figure out even what to name his business, and for that I will put him on page 12 of the Local Search Results.

    Think about it. Makes sense, right, that Google/God would promote those businesses smart enough, and motivated enough to get all their Local Citation duckies all lined up in a row, and make certain that all the addresses are the same, spelled the same, business names are all the same, spelled the same, all the phone number(s) are the same, etc...

    And, it says something about a business that has multiple addresses, multiple websites, different phone numbers here & there, doing business under various names, various addresses, never bothered to get them all fixed. It says the business is run by a bunch of fuck-ups.

    And Google/God's Users don't want to have their 1st page of search results fucked-up by the fuck-ups. They want active businesses that really exist and are ready to do business. And, if your business isn't well-listed, maybe it's because Google thinks you are fucked up.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  15. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    I come from a land downunder

    I never pinged a link in my life - and I'm doing OK
     
  16. xstumpedx

    xstumpedx Regular Member

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    I'm using ahrefs to check my backlinks. All my locations are properly filled out and indexed within Google Places.

    The issue I'm having is with my business directory listings. I've created roughly 150 and only have 20 backlinks. Yes, I understand some will not go for whatever reason, but 20 seems quite low. I have the URLs for each live listing, now what to do with them?

    I understand the importance of NAP and consistency. It ate a lot of my time trying to correct listings previously made by others....but it's something you gotta do.
     
  17. gushtaff

    gushtaff Newbie

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    I've heard that linking back to your G+ Local page in the format of your business name that is is schema format helps a lot... Anyone tried this?