Using Citations and Reviews for SEO


An online citation is a mention of your business name and address on other websites. If you have your business listed in an online yellow page directory or local chamber of commerce, that would be considered a citation. Citations do not have to have a link back to your website. You just need to be mentioned. An online review is when your customers use these listings to review your product or service.

Citations and reviews are key components in the ranking algorithms of Google and other search engines. Businesses with a greater number of citations usually rank higher in the search engines. Citations and reviews from well-established websites increase the benefits of  your page rank with Google and other search engines. Citations and reviews also establish that you are a local business that is a part of a community. This improves your Local search engine rankings.

You can get citations and reviews through local search engines and directories. Local search engines crawl each other to find citations to validate business information. Some search engines use data providers such as infoUSA or,, and are also local search engines that are used to provide data to other search engines. These are good places to put a free or paid listing for your website. You can also use local blogs such as HyperLocal Blogs to get placed on a business listing.

Human-edited directories get less spam so they are more trusted places for information that is gathered by local search engines. Examples of local focused directories would be Best of the Web’s Regional Directory or Yahoo’s Regional Directory.

If your business is focused on topics and keywords related to your services or what you sell, then you should find membership directories or trade organizations to list your website. You can search for “your industry directory” or “your keyword directory” to find sites where you can be listed for your industry or keyword. For instance, I found a web development directory by doing this search, “web design directory”, and got a listing on these directories, Web Development, Web Design Directory, and Design Directory.

Once you are listed in these directories or search engines, email your customers that love you with a link to your listing and ask them if they will review your products or services. These citations and reviews will go a long way in increasing your visibility online and helping you with Google rankings.

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