Is your company lacking visibility and a better ranking for local search? Have you tried to find out the reason behind this? Well, gone are the days when it was quite easy to rank for the desired keyword by building unlimited links using the keyword as the anchor text? However, there is a great news for you! The Google Penguin update has completely changed the link building process. But why?
No matter how important or from where you have obtained the links, you have more control on the anchor text if you have direct control over the link. But in this aspect, Google is not interested in any links that you have built for yourself. It is only interested in certain exceptional cases when your reach is big enough to build links from popular sites that indicates your influence on the web. On the contrary, a link with highly optimised anchor text looks too unnatural as you have direct control over the formation of that link. An optimised anchor text also indicates that you probably have built most of them by yourself.
Google only wants to see sites link to you when it likes the content, feel it is relevant and wants to share it with the audiences. It places less emphasis on anchor text and always looks for statistical correlation that it can use to determine its relevance on the web. Here lies the importance of citation. It is associated with both signpost and acknowledgment. As a signpost, it signals the location of your source and as an acknowledgment it shows that you are indebted to that source. Your next probable question is why citation is important? Let me help you to understand its importance with two basic reasons-
The origin of ideas should be given its due importance:
Citing sources of ideas or references is important. It is mainly because the idea should be given its credit for its contribution. When a writer cites ideas, the writer actually honours those who initiated that idea.
Citing prevents the rights of the person who originated the idea:
Besides citing sources, tracking sources are also important. This is because if you use someone else’s idea without giving credit, you are basically violating the person’s ownership of that idea.
But how would you do citation for a website?
The use of citation is required whenever you use quotes or paraphrase from other sources. Take a look at the basic steps to correctly cite a website:
Collect accurate information about the website you want to build citations for. Make sure the information also correlate with your Google+ page and local ecosystem.
Include your business information in NAP format (Name, Address and Phone Number). Remember that the information provided by you must be thoroughly maintained for future references.
Following are some of the commonest information most of the citation resources will ask for.
- - Contact Name
- - Email Address
- - Company Name
- - Address
- - Suite or Floor Number
- - City
- - State
- - Zip
- - Phone Number
- - Landing Page for Location
- - Logo URL
- - Facebook URL
- - Twitter Handle
- - Places Page Link of Google+ local and Google places
- - 800 Number
Once you have the accurate business information you may use Roboform to put the information in one location and use its autofill system while submitting them to other websites. It will not allow you to store data at one place but also help you share the data with your teammates. It saves you a lot of time.
However, you must do a manual review before the final submission. If you list your business twice on a website this will be considered as a spam and may not add any value to your citation program. Find sites where you are not listed yet.
Here are a few quick information you may use while building citations
Search for top citation resources from Getlisted.org. Choose by different industries and geographic locations.
You may use Local Citation Finder to find the top competitors. This will provide you with a list of websites (could be local directories) that you can use to submit your business information. The best thing about using the tool is that you get an array of websites that are from your city/town, state and country.
You can also conduct a Google search to identify your top competitors. To do this, just type in the detailed address of any local business similar to yours and search the sources your competitors are linked to. Next time you may use those resources for citation building.
Last but not the least you should track your citation sources in regular interval of time. Using Google doc may help you in maintaining this.
But why citation?
Citation includes the name of your business and address of your web page even if there is no link to your website. Citations are a key element of the ranking algorithm of the major search engines .Businesses with greater number of citations undoubtedly rank higher than the one with fewer citations. Moreover, citations from a well-indexed portal assure that search engines are well aware of your business’s categorization and contact information. Most importantly, citation validate that a business is a part of a community.
Why is co-citation given more importance than the anchor text?
It is very difficult for Google to manipulate citation. Unless you have actionable content which people love to read and share, you cannot have great citation. Also it is not possible to manipulate the influencer who make citation possible as they promote those content they feel is best to share with the readers.
And why is citation superseding link building?
The process of link building is gradually becoming difficult to accomplish as acquiring quality links for your site is an unnerving task. Let us see why citation is replacing link building-
In order to obtain high quality links, you need to invest effort and time. In short, you have to work continuously on your links and the web page content if you wish to outdo your competitors on the search engines.
If you suddenly start getting links at once and then stop building links, it will not help your ranking much. The search engine considers the number of websites that gets linked to your site over time. The entire process demands consistency. Therefore, get one link at a time try to optimise the page and you will find the ranking of your website improves steadily.
As Google hate scammers therefore, it immediately finds out the websites that exploited the loopholes in Google’s algorithm to get on Google’s first page. Google penalises and remove that website from the index.
To get better search engine rankings through link building, webmasters sometimes use the shortcuts and loopholes to get the benefits without any effort. This is because; it is difficult to get good inbound links while building links.
Do you need further reasons to adapt citation over link building?
Citation helps your site to get a better visibility and a better ranking in local search. As an acknowledgment , it reveals the source of an idea to give its due credit. As obtaining quality links for the site is a difficult task, citation is the key element of the ranking algorithm of the major search engines.
Sumita Das Dutta is a tech geek and a web analyst. She has also been associated with technical writing; blogging on Google web analytics services, seo audit responsive design, online marketing, app development and social media engagement. She is a content developer at Softz Solutions.