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How are citations found and checked in Citation Tracker reports?

Myles Anderson -



1. Finding Citations

We use a wide range of sources and approaches to find citations.

Searching with your Business Information

We use combinations of your business information to locate citations - i.e. Business name, phone number, zipcode and address.

Sources of Citations

  • Google, Yahoo & other engines - we run searches on these engines using combinations of your business information;
  • Our own Citation database - we have own database of 500 million citation pages that we search through;
  • Search direct on citation sites - for the Top Citation sites we do a search using their own search function.

Through this process we gather a large selection of citations. Many of these will be correct, but some are not. Some will be citations for businesses with similar names or sister-stores in the same town (e.g. there are over 50 Starbucks in Chicago). 

So we then validate each citation.

2. Validating Citations

We want to confirm that the citations we show you are for the correct business & location. We do this using a validation process:

a) Check for presence of business name on the page

  • If we find your business name on the page, and it passes our percentage match level (see below) then we return this citation in your report

b) Check for zipcode of phone number on the page

  • If we are not able to find or match your business on the page, we then check to see if we can find your zipcode (aka postal code) and phone number;
  • If we identify your zipcode and phone number are present then we return this citation in your report.


Because 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.


Percentage Match Algorithm 

We use a small algorithm to determine a percentage match for your business on a webpage. If the percentage match is high enough then we return that citation in your report. If it isn't a high enough match then we discard that page and don't show it on your report.

We set this percentage level high enough to filter out incorrect matches. However sometimes it also removes correct citations. We constantly monitor the percentage level to ensure its set at the optimum level but getting it right for every business and every citation is an impossible challenge. Unfortunately it's not an exact science (we wish it was!)


Managing and cleaning your reports

Because we know that the Citation finding process isn't perfect, we provide tools within Citation Tracker for you to be able to manage and clean up your reports:

1. Update citations - you can update/swap a citation by clicking on the 'pen' icon next to each citation

2. Delete citations - you can remove citations using the Delete option in the dropdown box

3. Add citations - you can add missing citations to your report; you can do this 1 by 1 or in bulk using CSV import

Please see this FAQ in our Help Center to find out how to manage your citations in your report.

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