How does BrightLocal find citations?
A wide range of sources and approaches are used to find citations — for example, using combinations of your business information (business name, phone number, zip code and address) to locate citations.
Which citation sources does Citation Tracker use?
Citation Tracker uses the following citation sources:
- Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines
We run searches on these engines using combinations of your business information.
- Our own citations database
We have our own extensive database of 500 million citation pages.
- Direct search on citation sites
For the top citation sites, we perform a search using their own search function.
This comprehensive approach enables us to gather a large selection of citations — the great majority of which will be correct. Some will be citations for businesses with similar names or sister-stores in the same town (e.g. there are over 50 Starbucks stores in Chicago).
How does Citation Tracker validate citations?
A validation process is used by us to confirm that the citations we show you are for the correct business and location:
1. We check for the presence of the business name on the page. If your business name is found and it passes our percentage match level (see below), then we return this citation in your report.
2. We check for the zip code (postcode) or phone number on the page.
If we cannot find or match your business on the page, we attempt to find your zip code and phone number — if these are present, then we return this citation in your report.
Since some citation sites have your business name written differently (and may have you listed at an old address with a different phone number), this validation process is quite complex.
The Percentage Match Algorithm
We use a small algorithm to determine a percentage match for your business on a web page, which will dictate whether this citation is returned in your report. If the match isn't high enough, then we simply discard that page and don't show it on your report.
This percentage level is set high enough to filter out incorrect matches, however, it sometimes also removes correct citations. We constantly monitor the level to ensure it's set at the optimum mark, but getting it right for every business and every citation is, unfortunately, an impossible challenge.
Managing and cleaning your reports
To help with the Citation-finding process, we've provided the following tools within Citation Tracker that let you manage and clean up your reports:
- Update citations: You can update / swap a citation by clicking on the 'Edit Citation' pencil icon next to each citation.
- Remove citations: Citations can be removed by ticking the checkbox of each chosen citation, and then selecting 'Archive' from the checkbox dropdown at the top of the report — this removes them from the white-label reports and scores.
- Add citations: You can add missing citations to your report individually, or in bulk using a CSV upload.
Click here to find out how to manage citations in your Citation Tracker report.