Links, Citations and New Marketing Techniques – Are They Business As Usual Or New Methodology?

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New to the online marketing sector is local search. The same benefits from inbound links are brought to local search efforts as are traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. There has been a bit of a change in terminology, as local search refers to citations rather than inbound links, but all in all they are very similar items that you want to spend some time to get.

An inbound link by definition is any link that points to your website. A citation would fall into this category although anchor text is not necessarily a part of this link. Often a link within a citation has anchor text that is the URL that is linked. It may also be your domain name or site name. Not so much attention is spent on utilizing keywords in the links from a citation.

Citations are often from directory sites and other sites that will review or list sites within a particular market.

In SEO we want to define our anchor text to be the most important keywords that we have. We want to build multiple links with these important phrases. With citations we are often not allowed access to what the link text will be, yet the link itself is super valuable. There lies the main difference between traditional inbound linking and getting citations for your local marketing efforts.

Relevance has always been part of this equation and still is with local search. It’s not as important today, at least this is what I believe, although I am certain that it will be more important as time moves on. This is something that can be easily spammed to search engines and hence I believe that eventually more emphasis will be placed on citations from relevant sites within the same market, or complementary markets.

In my efforts to get citations I do not try and spend time separating the old style SEO links from the new type of citation link. If I can get a link I’m happy. It may be from another website, a blog or a typical citation. I’m not all that concerned with that now, I just want to generate the links. I have heard some criticism of my thought process here, but at this point in time I still see a link as a link, whether it is pointing at my local page as a keyword link or is just a mention on a directory.

It’s still early in the local search evolution and the market is still very wide open. Let’s keep our eyes towards the future of this important new marketing effort and track how things change with linking and citations as it relates to local marketing.

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