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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I see many questions on here pertaining to google local and other local services (eg yahoo local, bing local, etc).

One very common question I see goes something like this "The information google is displaying about my business isn't accurate (missing reviews, drops in rankings, etc). How can I fix it?"

The reason this happens is that Google, Yahoo, and Bing--in addition to maintaining their own business databases--pull in business information from a variety of other sources. All three local search engines do the best they can to match the data that comes in from these other sources with what they have in their own index, but sometimes that doesn't happen properly. If the information is different enough, they might think it's a different business, or they might even feel that the wrong information appears SO many times in the other places that they get their data from, that it might actually be "right."

There are three primary sources of data for all the major search engines: infoUSA, Acxiom, and Localeze. Other companies like Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, and Universal Business Listing can also play a role in this cycle, sending "fresh" feeds to the search engines every couple of months.

But if your business information is incorrect at any of these major providers, it may override what the major search engines have in their own database. And if you're not included in the databases of these major providers, you're just not going to rank as well in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

See the first image below for how primary data providers interact with local search.

In addition to the major search engines, there are a TON of secondary search engines that are also valuable in driving traffic to your website (and hopefully bringing you more business). Most of these secondary portals get their data from the exact same places that Google, Yahoo, and Bing do--just one more reason you need to make sure your business information is correct at those handful of primary providers.

See the second image below for how primary data providers interact with local search.


And finally, search engine marketing experts feel that citations, in other words mentions of your business name and contact details, on these secondary portals are absolutely critical for ranking well in Google Maps. Google spiders all of these secondary portals regularly, so it's important to make sure your information is correct and consistent EVERYWHERE across the web.

See the third image below for how all of these sources interact.


As you can see from the charts below, even for experts, the Local Search Ecosystem is incredibly complex! But I hope this has given you an idea of why your information sometimes appears incorrectly, and a few places you can go to ensure that it's correct in the future.

I have to give credit where credit is due, so here, here, and here are links where the majority of the above was pulled from.
 

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this is very similar to an seo concept called a linkwheel. I appreciate the post...there are a few sites on there I missed

the more places you can get backlinks from the better.....even better when it is highly targeted like the images above.

j
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
this is very similar to an seo concept called a linkwheel. I appreciate the post...there are a few sites on there I missed

the more places you can get backlinks from the better.....even better when it is highly targeted like the images above.

j
I VERY much disagree. A link wheel is black hat seo (read: illegal) strategy that is used boost a websites rankings in the search engines quickly. A link wheel is used when you have a website or blog that you would like to have as a focal point for your online efforts whether to make money or affiliate market to make a quick buck.

It is NOT a sustainable strategy.

What I described above is HOW google local gains trust in your local business listings (Not your website, blog, or affiliate marketing scam site) from other sources. The reason I posted this thread is because most business owners do not realize that the major search engines use sources outside of their own databases to verify, double check, and build trust of your business. If at any of those outside business data providers your business data differs, google will penalize you.

Most small business owners have heard of Google, Yahoo, and Bing—even with the recent name change. But a tiny percentage of them (and even a tiny percentage of search marketers) know about the “other” Big Three in Local Search—Localeze, infoUSA, and Acxiom. These guys each have their own databases which form the foundation of the search engines’ Local indexes and of a variety of second-tier portals as well. They’re basically the backbone of the entire local search ecosystem because Google, Yahoo, and Bing all buy these enormous data sets from the big three in order to refresh their data, add new business, and verify your listings (ie the edits that you go in and do manually).

If you want to see if your info is correct in infoUSA, go here.

If you want to see if your info is correct in Localeze, go here.

**Acxiom is the only one of the three which doesn’t have an online submission area. They get their data from print yellow page directories.
 

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I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you a bit. First lets talk about black hat seo...I'm not going to get into legal or illegal because I'm not a lawyer but I do question how ethical those types of techniques are.

A linkwheel is basically a twist on article marketing...I'm not going to promote or defend the process.

"Your comment that "It is NOT a sustainable strategy." is questionable. I have articles that are post on ezinearticles that are 3+ years old and still generating traffic and the backliinks are still showing up on the site. Google still views ezinarticles as an authority site and therefore my site gains a small amount of trust because of that. (thats a very simplistic explanation)

Most small business owners have heard of Google, Yahoo, and Bing—even with the recent name change. But a tiny percentage of them (and even a tiny percentage of search marketers) know about the “other” Big Three in Local Search—Localeze, infoUSA, and Acxiom. These guys each have their own databases which form the foundation of the search engines’ Local indexes and of a variety of second-tier portals as well. They’re basically the backbone of the entire local search ecosystem because Google, Yahoo, and Bing all buy these enormous data sets from the big three in order to refresh their data, add new business, and verify your listings (ie the edits that you go in and do manually)."
Is 100% correct as I understand it....my only thought when comparing the two is how the various search engines rely on info provided by other services (through backlinks) to keep there info updated. Whether it be for directory updating or search ranking.

In the diagrams you there are a few places I have not seen before and will add to our marketing processes...for that I thank you.

Jim
 

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excellent find RCP
The webmasters who create end user value within their websites, based on the needs of people, are the ones who will see their page rank improve.
Quoted from that article...probably one of, if not, the most important things to consider.

Just remember...there is more than one way to skin a cat...

j
 
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