In the SEO world there’s always A LOT of talk about links, and for the most part, rightfully so. Links continue to be a prime indicator of authority and relevance to search engines, which makes a proper link building strategy one of the pillars of a business’ search optimization success.
But its not all about links as David Mihm at blog, Mihmorandum, points out. In the blog post David keys in on Google’s local SEO algorithm and how links only seem to play a small part in determining relevance and instead, it is citations of your business that seem to truly drive high local search rankings.
Note: By “local search rankings” I’m referring to the placement ordering at http://maps.google.com when you click the “Find Businesses” link and type in the service that you offer and your location.
Ok, so what is a citation? A citation is simply a reference of your business on another website. At times these citations may be a link, but usually they are just a mention of your business name accompanied by your address and/or phone number. For the local rankings Google only seems to count citations on other local websites. Google is thinking that if other local websites are talking about your business then your business is more relevant than businesses that are not being talked about. A fairly basic concept, but quite eye-opening to see it actually in the works in Google’s local rankings.
I’m sure you can connect the dots from here, but for now it looks like increasing citations about your site from other local websites can make your business more visible in the local search engines. Easy places to start your quest might be your local chamber of commerce, local city guides (Yelp.com, Citysearch.com) and the Better Business Bureau.