Online listing sites such as YellowPages.com, Angieslist.com and Foursquare.com may not seem like SEO’s most cutting-edge factors. After all, online search engines, social media and Pay-Per-Click advertising have somewhat rendered these listing sites obsolete for the average consumer. However, adding your business to these online directories has a significant impact on your business’ online presence.
Even if most consumers don’t consult an online listing site while they’re searching for a particular service or product, these listing sites often directly impact where a business’ website appears in online search results. This is because listing sites generally contain a backlink to a business’ website. A backlink directs users back to your website on online directories. Provided your business’ backlinks aren’t featured on scammy, low-quality websites, these backlinks are a positive factor in Google and other search engines’ algorithm. If your backlinks are coming from low-quality sites, your website may be penalized by Google as part of their Penguin algorithm.
This is why it is important to make sure that you’re only adding your website to reputable online directories. Services such as Bright Local will predominantly only direct you to the best listing sites, however, Bright Local will occasionally provide you with listing sites that require you to add a backlink back to the online directory’s site. These reciprocal listing sites should be ignored, as Google may consider this as a form of link buying, which is a violation of Google’s Penguin algorithm.
While adding your business to the major, general listing sites like YellowPages.com is important, it’s also wise to add your business to local listing sites, as well as industry-specific listing sites.
Make sure your listings are all consistent as many still do use these online directories. This also factors into your site’s SEO, as inconsistent listings across the internet won’t provide your business with the same benefits as consistent ones.