How to Ruin Your Online Local Business Listing

Solomon Thimothy - November 24, 2009

online local business listing

It might be tempting for local business owners to make changes to their business listings in order to improve their search engine optimization (SEO), but they actually might be ruining their listing.

Changes like adding a slogan to the business name or changing office locations to seem local will actually negatively impact your listing and possibly get you delisted by the major search engines.

Here are a few simple ways that you might be ruining your local business listing.

    • Change your phone number in your business listing
      While call tracking might be an important way to measure success in advertising, your online business listing is not an advertising channel. If a business changes or adds a different phone number to the index or foundational layer of the local search, search engines will view them differently and the business may end up getting delisted. If Google finds duplicate listings for a business, they may be deleted or merged with a “similar” looking business listing within the index until further verification takes place to identify the accurate listing, which can often take weeks. A business listing should be a foundation piece to layer your marketing on top of. If you have to add an alternate phone number to your business listing, make sure it is clearly marked as a secondary number so that a duplicate listing isn’t created.


    • Add keywords to a business name
      Once again, adding keywords to try to improve online rankings and SEO can end up getting you delisted from major search engines and hurt your local search presence. Changing or adding to a business listing can disturb the linking structure that puts a businesses’ name in the search engines’ rankings, which ultimately puts a company in front of potential customers.


  • Put duplicate addresses to appear local to more consumers.
    By adding additional addresses you can create confusion for both search engines and customers, making it more difficult for them to find your company. It also hurts your reputation when ratings and reviews about your company are separated throughout your various listings. It is crucial to have one business address so that the major search engines can find all relevant information about your company. Multiple locations appearing within a single listing will only create noise and fragmentation.

Your online listing may be the fastest and quickest way for people to find out about your company. For more information on search engines, business listing and search engine optimization, contact OneIMS at 1-888-ONE-IMS1.

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