Citations are simply mentions of your company’s website or brand on another website, regardless if you create a link or not. Google’s algorithms have evolved so much that they don’t even need a link to be able to read the content, judge the relevancy and attribute that to the mention of a site or business. Citation building actually got its start back in 2009 when Google tweaked their algos to increase rankings of a local listing in Google Places for Business if the business is cited on another website. The most effective citation building for local SEO, contains exact matching information such as, phone number and address.
Citations Now Work for Normal SERPs Outside of Local Listings!
Now citations are having the same impact on regular SERPs, not just local listings. Here’s how it works, just mention the name of the company then the keywords that describe what the company is about. Since I’m currently working on AdultSearch.com, I’ll use this site as an example. Find any personal blog, forum, social media platform or site that talks about escorts and simply mention [escort classified listings] and the name of our company or if I want to boost one of our city pages like Atlanta, I’ll find a local ATL site and try to mention the words [Atlanta escorts] and [adutlsearch.com]. The proximity of the words on the page and the proximity of the keywords in relation to the brand name or site name can affect the quality of the citation so it best to keep the keywords and the mention in the same sentence or at least the sentence before or after. NOTE: Citation building alone can not help target certain pages as landing pages or as the canonical page for a certain keyword. For that traditional SEO is needed but once the correct page is on the radar, citations can do the rest! So to answer the question, will citations replace links? is NO, at least not yet. Links are still very critical for the ranking process.
places to start getting citations
Directories (local or industry specific)
Best of the Web
Like usual, want to encourage conversation and interaction so please feel free to ask questions and leave comments about citation building below.