Editor’s Note: This article has since been updated after speaking with Christian Ward at Yext and testing the duplicate suppression process. I will be publishing a follow up piece soon.
Recently I published a post on Moz.com about how to clean up your citations and increase your local SEO presence. In this article I covered the importance that citations play in local SEO and the painstaking process of cleaning them up to ensure you have 100% NAP accuracy. If you didn’t know this one of the biggest mistakes people make in the local SEO game. They don’t clean up their citations. While it’s a difficult process I was surprised to learn that last month Yext introduced a citation suppression product geared towards fixing these duplicate citations. I am a Yext reseller so I talked to my rep about this product to see if it makes sense for small business owners to consider this. But first let me give you an overview of the product.
About Their Offering
Yext has been a player in the local field for quite some time now and offer a product that for about $400 – $500 a year you can pay them to create 45+ citations on some of the most important citation sources for local SEO. In addition to this they launched a new service at the end of June 2014 that helps fix an area where there service was lacking, which is fixing duplicates. Previously when you signed up for Yext it was easy for the system to create duplicates of your business listings which actually hurt your Local SEO rankings. They tried to fix this with their new service offering. On the Yext blog they launched a press release that covers the launch of their duplicate suppression program. Basically this new service will “Suppress” the duplicate listings of your business on the 45 sites they have partnership agreements with. The price runs about $500 a year for the reseller (me), which we would then of course have to mark up before selling it to our clients. But lets take a deeper dive and see if the value is there.
Is It Worth It?
In my opinion this product is worth it’s price when combined with a trained set of eyes working on the duplicate removal for you. The way that this product works is it scans for information and detects duplicates based on the values you entered into the search. While it does do a decent job at finding the duplicates the product itself does not cannot look for information that you did not provide to it. Basically this means that it’s going to find duplicates based on your current business information but has the possibility of overlooking older phone numbers and other inaccurate information. This however is not really a criticism of the product. If they were to cast a wider net to try to find these other potential duplicates it would get a lot of wrong ones in there too. Basically the looser they make the filter, the more results it will snatch up that are potentially not yours. However if you were to conduct a full citation audit and have an experienced professional use this tool, they could then suppress the additional listings they found using Yext’s URL submit tool.
- It’s fast – Although it requires human approval they claim some will be up within 24 hours.
- When you delete citations they could come back. This helps mitigate that.
- It has a submission tool to submit citations it did not detect (so if you found any it didn’t detect)
- In many cases it 301 redirects the incorrect listings to the proper listings
- It’s easy. If you like simplicity and don’t have time to mess around with this stuff it might make sense.
- I like that they have human verification. Black hat SEO’s could use this to destroy local businesses otherwise.
- It still requires someone with knowledge to use this product. Ensure your local SEO provider is doing their due diligence when signing you up for this product.
- Pricing – Its pretty expensive at $500+ a year depending on who is selling it to you.
- On-Going: You will have to keep paying this yearly as long as you use the service.
Since Yext publicly publishes their network of sites you could just as easily spend 15 minutes a day using my tutorial searching for and cleaning up these citations yourself. Or you could pay someone to take care of it for you at a one time cost (although full disclosure I would charge more than $500 to do this). The problem with this solution is that if you do it manually they in all likelihood might come back. It’s best to check 3,6, and 9 months after you have removed them. Since Yext’s product is new I would do the same with it to ensure no duplicates are being created and not forgotten about.
I think this is a good choice for experts and is a very powerful product if it’s used to it’s full potential. Paying to have listings removed or suppressed is still in it’s infancy. If publishers realize they can make money to update these listings instead of doing it on their own dime I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these sources charging for removals in the future. Just like we have seen more citation sources charge just to have a listing, the future might include paid duplicate removals.