Local Citations- Do they Still Matter?

A few weeks ago Google changed the look of Google Places. They changed the layout  and dropped ” More about this place” from the individual business places page. I have received allot of question if Citations still matter. 

Here is my answer:

I have been testing now for about a week and checking various rankings across many different industries. I have also followed many local SEO’s that  I trust like David Mihm and Mike Bluementhal. I have not seen any ranking changes  based on this new look and feel of Google Places. I believe that this  change is Google’s effort to become more of a player in the  review game. And also to give the IYP’s another slap in the face.

What this means really is that local SEO’s will have to look a  bit harder to find relevant citations. But by doing a quick  phone number search on Google.com for a competitor you can easily find their citations.

Citations still seem to be a part of the local algorithm. I’m actually kinda glad they stopped showing them on the page. Citations in the More about  this Place would come and go for no apparent reason. This would leave me with no real answer to anyone who asked where their citations went.

So, as I write this it seems that Citations still matter and I don’t really see this going away in the near future. But if I do see a change in the algorithm I will try and give you my opinion. It wont be hasty and it will come to you with concrete evidence of what is working and what is not.

So you Local Marketer’s and Local SEO’s out there shouldn’t change much.  Ranking high on Google places is still about providing accurate and consistent data across many sources. Its about trust and consumer reviews.  You should still get many reviews from many sources posted to many sites.  And get your citations on the national directories as well as local and niche specific directories.

I hope this helps,