Potential Citations are citations that you don’t have but your competitors have. We remove any Active Citations you have from this list so it is a clean list of target-citations for you to go after and add your business to.
We identify the top 5 ranked businesses within Google+ Local for your ‘business type’ & ‘location’ (i.e. your top 5 local competitors). We use their business name + postal code to find their citations.
We then duplicate the list of found citations sites – and remove any active ones that you have – then we present you with a nice, clean target list of Citations to go after.
We use Google to identify each citation and we do this in two different ways with 2 separate searches -
1. Biz name + zipcode/postcode (we do an "exact search" using this info)
2. Phone number ("exact search" again)
Our software will then analyse the SERPs and pull the data from the sites that show the citations, these are then tracked in your report.
What this means is that if a citation hasn't yet been indexed by Google or isn't in SERPs from searches 1 or 2, than we can not pull in data for that citation.
We don't go into each site to extract data because there are so many potential citation sites (we have over 100,000 in our records). It is a huge task for us to understand the HTML structure of these sites and then keep on top on any changes they make - would need a 3-4 man development team just to stay on top of changes.
We are looking to add extra insight on how we identified a citation - whether it was using address or phone number or both. So this would give extra insight into quality of citation before you click through to it.