In the world of search engines, directories and local directory aggregators, there is a lot of behind the scenes action going on that determines the outcome of search engine results placement or SERPs. We hear a lot about algorithms, and how SEO specialists try their best to manipulate what they think those secret algorithms are, but ranking algorithms are but a small part of a search engine. In fact, algorithms only really affect the indexes of search engine databases. And those indexes change every 2 days. But there is more, much more.
Search engines and directories want to be the biggest and baddest on the block. Not only do they want to control how their indexes are accessed in order to give the customer exactly what he or she is looking for, they also want to bring in information from other sources too. After all, you are awesome with your data, but you are a god with everyone’s data. This is where aggregation comes in. Search engines and local directories aggregate data on every company. So for example, your company may have a dozen or so actual listings in a particular directory, and that directory shows you the one that it things best matches your inquiry. In fact, Google could have hundreds of listings of your company in its Local Places directory due to Local Directory Aggregators.
Why This Affects You
Having all of these multiple entries in all of these directories confuses databases. And when it comes time for a directory to make its “best guess” available to the public, more than likely it is the wrong guess. When know without an ounce of doubt that this absolutely affects rankings in Google. We have studies and reports that shows increases in rankings after cleaning up spurious local directories. It can take a few months, but it happens.
What Can You Do?
Absolutely nothing on your own. You can try to request edits to your listings, even pay certain websites to access and edit your listing. However, here is the problem: You can never fix the underlying data and it will eventually change back.
There are companies like U2Them, who even at their very basic package can not only do monthly technical audits on your website, offer sage advice on how to correct all of your seo issues, but can also place your business into the various local directory systems to take care of those local directory duplicates.