Citations are basically listings or mentions of your business name and address on directory listings, articles and news stories online. Citations do not necessarily include a link to your site. A clear example of a citation is the internet yellow pages where your company or business might be only listed but not associated to.
You might have come across the phrase ‘web references’ on several sites. Basically, web references are what are popularly known as citations. Google and other major search engines consider citations as one of the decisive factors in determining your web page rankings in major search engine results pages. Similar in the manner which quality inbound links enhance your website’s ranking, so do quality citations and this especially applies to local SEO.
Google Places listings can be found at the foot of your Google Places web page under the title ‘More about this place.’ This is where major search engines display the number of websites that have listed your company or business. Remember that you cannot add citations to your page on your own; rather it is Google which adds them to your catalog when it crawls the internet. In the event of Google stumbling across a web reference to your website, you basically earn a vote, irrespective of whether the source is connected directly to your site or not. The more the number votes you earn in Google’s eyes, the higher your site will rank.
Citations are a vital component of the placement algorithms used by major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Other aspects being equal, companies with a high number of quality and accurate citations will almost certainly rank in top positions in contrast to companies with fewer mentions. It is imperative that you list your business contact information in a similar fashion all the time. You should decide on how you want your business information to read and maintain that mode on each reference opportunity. Accuracy and consistency are the two most important aspects in relation to how your business information appears. This is vital, since search engines fail to identify your business contact information if there is any slight variation with the one listed on your website.
Mentions on well-established and reputable portals help to convince the major search engines regarding the authenticity of your company’s contact information and classification. In simple terms, citations assist search engines in substantiating whether companies or businesses meet the standard sought by search engines.
Listings are especially vital in less-competitive niches such as the electrical or plumbing sector. In these kind of niches, a lot of service providers hardly have their own business websites. With the lack of additional information, major search engines depend on any information they can stumble across via citations or mentions across the internet.
Citations also confirm that a particular business forms part of the community. As such, it is practically impossible for a business to falsify membership in a sector of trade or a town or even a county business inventory. This will impact on the business gaining coverage on a local internet daily or a leading blog.
Lastly, the quality and the volume of web references play a critical role in enhancing your local SEO. Apart from locating existing references and amending them, you can also formulate new references on reputable sites in order to benefit from quality citations.
Blogger who researches and talks about the roles citations play in local SEO for Integrity SEO