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Google removes citations from its Places pages: so what now?

By LiamC on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Comments (2)

Last week Google removed all of the third party citations and reviews that were previously a key part of its Google Places pages. It’s widely believed that this was due to complaints from the likes of Yelp and TripAdvisor that Google was unfairly using their content to make their own service better without any form of compensation.

It was these reviews and citations that business owners and SEO companies alike relied heavily upon to help aid them with their Google Places optimisation campaigns by researching the citation sources of their competitors. Therefore, now they are gone many are questioning their ability to be able to effectively optimise their listings from now on.

Fear not! There are other ways of effectively conducting citation research that we here at SEONext are doing already. One of these is to quite simply identify these citation sources in the normal search results. For example, simply conduct a query using Google and then you will be able to identify all of the directories etc that Google identifies as relevant to your query in the top few results. Alternatively you could actually write in a business name and telephone number of a high ranking competitor and then simply identify where they are earning their listings from.

These are just a couple of ways local research can still be conducted and there many more that we can conduct. If you’d like to make sure you can be found on Google Places, andwant your page optimising by one of the UK’s leading SEO companies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss how we can help.

2 Responses to “Google removes citations from its Places pages: so what now?”

  • Alex Says:

    Interesting blog post…

    Indeed, they have removed the 3rd party citations but I was wondering – even if they do not appear in the Google Places listing, aren’t they still a part of Google’s “local rankings” algorithm?

    I mean, as with the organic SEO, Google does not disclose all the links to a certain website, however it is obvious that those are considered by the SE and help in rankings.

    Plus, reviews on websites such as Yelp etc are still great for the “whole picture”. :)



  • LiamC Says:

    Hi Alex,

    Yes you’ve hit the nail on the head, although these citations are no longer visible, of course Google still needs them to rank the results and place the relevant businesses in the sought after 7 pack.

    This isn’t the issue we were referring to though, the reason the removal of these citations is such an issue for people is that the citations that were visible were a fantastic way for people to identify the citations that Google uses to rank a particular business type. For example if you’re a plumber in Birmingham and you wanted to try to optimise your Google Places listing, you could simply look at your competitors’ place pages and identify where their citations from across the internet were coming from, allowing you to list your own business in all the same places and effectively try to ‘one up’ them. Now that these are gone, people were struggling with how to effectively research these citations and find out where they are coming from.

    What you say is true as well, reviews on the likes of Yelp are still absolutely essential to increasing your chances of success online!

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