The Citation Circus

The citation circusNot too long ago, citations were the wunderkind of the Local SEO and general SEO landscape. Google would rank you higher and faster with such citations and then the inevitable happened, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. What happened next?? You can guess.

As soon as anything proves successful in online marketing you can bet that companies will be at war over it. You’ll have competition setting up sites based on the success of others, almost to cookie cutter accuracy, you’ll have those web based marketing gurus showing up with high priced course on ‘how to’ which lead to seminars that are nothing more than upsells to more idiotic and useless products and services. You’ll have SEO pros going at it night and day trying to figure out best to exploit it and you’ll have customers so confused they won’t know what hit them.
This is how citations started and in today’s citation circus, things are weird but still have ups and downs. First of all, citations aren’t going away anytime soon. Due to the potential windfall of citations, it’s a good bet that keen eyes will be on them for quite a while since no one knows what the search engine algorithms will do next. Google gives hits but that still is up to the interpretation of SEO experts and they’re not about to share their secrets out in the open as the citation circus can boost traffic and sales.

Nowadays, the sites that list citations are comprised of some pretty huge traffic monsters. Some are simple to use and others a royal pain. The bottom line is are their citations successful in driving traffic and boosting sales. As citation sites and marketers flourished there was turbulence in the industry. Sometimes unethical practices were employed and just downright incompetence too. Clients of SEO companies suffered and of course the SEO pros had to go in and fix things. There used to be a very hot market regarding prices but it seems to have leveled off after dropping considerably. Nothing stay the same after you’ve exploited it to death.

So for citations the deal is you’ve got to study up. Get lists of all the top citation sites and their terms and sometimes costs. Look around to see what others are saying about these citation sites and if you’ve friends who use them, get their opinions and work with it. Since no one knows what will happen next with Google and other search engines regarding the importance of citations, it’s best to be on your A Game regarding your knowledge and application of them. This calls for keeping an eye on your stats from top to bottom. Take it one step at a time to make sure that the citations pointing to your client’s sites are accurate and up to date with information and relevant keywords. If you find any errors, contact the site immediately and get them corrected.

Remember, citations are just opinions of a site and its location, however, they are located on the web and people make decisions about sites and products and services based on reviews quite a lot. You want your client’s site to have the best and relevant citations, not outdated and inaccurate listings.

Do things right and citations should work just fine for you.

Image credit: IB Systems graphic development

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