Data aggregators & Google Local SEO
by Alex Bungener
A less well-known yet significant component of Google Local SEO is the use of data aggregators to boost visibility in local searches. What are data aggregators? Also called data aggregator networks, data aggregators gather, summarize and present various data for a variety of purposes—examples of which are for statistical analyses, for recognizing trends in business, etc.
Data aggregators may seem obscure but their importance in Google Local SEO cannot be overemphasized. In the previous article I have discussed the importance of high-quantity and high-quality business listings and citations across the internet in enhancing your Google+ Local SEO strategy.
I have said that a listing or a citation can be thought of as a vote in the internet world. The more citations your local business has, the more credible it is in the eyes of Google. The sum of all your citations and listings is a large contributor to determining your ranking and visibility for local searches.
There is a hitch, though. If your local business does not have a single, unified identity— as what happens when your address in one listing is different in another—the links and mentions across the internet will be fragmented, with some links not credited to your favor but to a different entity.
Discrepancies in your NAP—name, address and phone— should thus be corrected. Your local business should have the same business name, address and phone in all listings and citations. However, cleaning up your NAP and other business information is no mean feat– but this is one area where data aggregators can help.
Data aggregators identify every single unique business across the USA and Canada in a non-ambiguous way. They will clean up and reconcile the information of your business listing and distribute these clean business listings to thousands of other sites. In effect, this creates a single identity for your business while multiplying the listings and citations for your business at the same time.
It is amazing how data aggregators work. They mine vast amounts of data from online as well as offline data. When you consider that even search engines go to data aggregator networks to validate their local business listings, it is logical to conclude that one vital Google Local SEO step would be to enter your local business info on these data aggregators. Examples of data aggregator networks to which you can submit information about your local business include LocalEze, InfoUSA and Acxiom.
Although data aggregators have been around for a long time, the application of data aggregation principles onto Google Local SEO is still relatively new. Data aggregator networks differ according to pricing, complexity of requirements and the number of sites to which they feed your business listing. And not all data aggregators are created equal. While some are free others cost as much as $297 (Digital+ pays much less) and the sites that buy data from them can very from month to month. Over the past couple of years some have grown their customer base (directories) while others have started to become much less significant as aggregators. There has even been a couple of new ones that have started up.
If you want to know more about fast-tracking your Google Local SEO campaign by means of data aggregators, please contact us.