A healthy portion of search engine optimization involves link-building. The more links that point to your site (from high-quality websites full of rich, useful content, of course), the higher your rankings are likely to be. And the more those linking sites use a properly diversified mix of keywords and branding terms, the more targeted search traffic you’ll get.
So what happens when a page mentions your business, but doesn’t link to you? Are you “cheated?”
If a website mentions your business – with business name, complete address, and phone number (NAP) – the online world calls that a “citation.” And while the citation would carry more juice, so to speak, if it were linked to you, Google does crawl just about every page on the Internet and it notices if a lot of sites are citing you. If the citations are on high-quality sites, they do pay off.
That’s partly because of where citations are most common. Typically, online business indexes and consumer review sites will include a citation for every business listed. Thus, if someone adds your business to Yelp, the full address should show up on the site. This means Google now knows that (for example) your business name is associated with dry cleaning in Trenton, NJ.
That little-known SEO secret is probably the motive behind a recent move by domain registrar giant GoDaddy. GoDaddy brands itself as the place to buy low-cost domain names and hosting plans, but has built much of its business by targeting small and medium-size corporate clients. GoDaddy provides not just the hosting, but website construction and marketing tools that help small businesses make a splash online – at least in theory.
GoDaddy announced Aug. 19 that it had purchased Locu, a small B2B startup based in San Francisco. Locu is billed as a smart Internet marketing company – and its core competency is automating the process of putting small businesses on online review and index sites. For instance, Locu could scrape your company website and use the data to add you to Yelp, CitySearch and the online Yellow Pages, among many others.
That may sound like a pretty minor reason to buy a company – especially at the rumored price tag of $70 million – but the end result would be, of course, citations.
GoDaddy is likely to use Locu to create a customers-only web tool to populate major index sites with citations, which would presumably increase customers’ rankings and web traffic. Whether the automated tool will work, or whether it will create problematic rank-dropping situations like the automated SEO tools of the past, remains to be seen.
At EverSpark Interactive, we’re proud to help your company build organic citations and links on high-quality websites by generating top-quality content. Contact EverSpark to discuss your SEO and Internet marketing needs today.