Unless you have been living under a rock, you must know by now that local search engine optimization (SEO) is probably the single most important activity in online marketing success, as it can help your business increase visibility on the web and get the attention of new potential customers. There are so many factors to consider when it comes to optimizing a website, but this article will solely focus on Local SEO and citation building. Specifically, duplicate citation listings on the popular platform Yelp.com and their impacts on SEO.
Duplicate Yelp listings can indeed have a significant effect on SEO. They can interfere with search engine rankings, decrease visibility, and reduce the overall effectiveness of Local SEO efforts. Here’s how:
1. Duplicate Listings Interfere with Search Engine Rankings
Duplicate listings can confuse search engine algorithms and cause them to incorrectly rank pages due to their likely mismatched information. This makes it difficult for search engines to accurately rank your pages and can result in your pages being buried deep in the search results. Also, duplicate listings can cause search engines to treat the listings as spam and could result in penalties.
2. Decreased Visibility
Having duplicate listings can decrease the visibility of a business by cluttering Google’s crawlers. Much like on-page cannibalization, Google finds these listings and doesn’t know which to prioritize, so it doesn’t prioritize either. Instead, it will rank a competitor with more consistent information. This can make it more difficult for prospective customers to find the correct locations and can lead to them choosing the competition instead.
Also, if customers see two identical listings, they may assume that the business is not professional and may not trust the company enough to make a purchase. To avoid the negative impacts of duplicate Yelp listings, businesses should ensure that they are only creating one listing per citation platform. Additionally, the information on the listing needs to be accurate and up-to-date to ensure that customers can easily find the business and trust the information provided.
3. Reduced Overall Effectiveness of SEO Efforts
The effectiveness of any SEO effort that has been put in place is decreased by having two identical listings, as they are competing against each other. Google doesn’t see these listings as ‘cohesive’, but more as ‘competitive’. This also leads to a decrease in organic traffic and conversions because the duplicate listings are competing for the same keywords, leading to a position fight (cannibalization). This is an incredibly common occurrence and happens among businesses all across the world, ultimately leading to an impact on their bottom lines.
By understanding the potential impact of duplicate citation listings on platforms like Yelp. Businesses can take steps to ensure that they are not affected by a proper Local SEO service. Most services include duplicate monitoring, NAP fixes, Google Business Profile management, and much more. By taking some simple steps, and engaging with your SEO team, you can ensure that your original listings are accurately displayed in citation websites. This will help guarantee the maximum return and best rankings from your Local SEO efforts.
If you’re still unsure about citation building or curious about an SEO service, our team is here to help your business grow organically.
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