Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Are Duplicate Listings Hurting Your Small Business?

The Problem: Duplicate Listings

Duplicate listings are not innocuous; they should be eliminated.Duplicate listings are one of the biggest negative ranking factors in Local SEO. If your business has more than one listing for a single location in an online directory, those are duplicates. You may think duplicates increase the chances of someone finding you online, but just the opposite is true.

How they hurt

  • Confusion: often duplicate listings display old addresses or phone numbers, or odd variations on your business name.
  • Betting on Chance: which of your duplicate listings will actually be presented to a searcher is up in the air. You hope they see a current, accurate listing but it’s a gamble which one they’ll see.
  • Reviews: if any of your listings have reviews, they may be split up among your duplicates. One listing may have most of your reviews and the other few or none. If the one with lots of great reviews is not the one shown, those reviews are wasted.
  • Contagion: depending on what site the duplicate listing is on, it can be picked up by others, spreading the bad information even further.
  • Google's Local Stack displays three listings prominently along with a graph showing where they're located.Google’s Local Stack: whether you show up as one of the three listings beneath a map in Google is largely dependent on the number and consistency of your citations across local directories. Inconsistent duplicate listings hurt your chances here.
  • Organic local listings: if search engines find your NAP data (name, address, phone) inconsistent across your citations they may not be able to tell which is right. And they may not show you in the organic rankings at all.

Do you have duplicate listings?

Search Engine Land, in their Definitive Guide to Duplicate Research for Local SEO, offers instructions on how to identify duplicate listings. The identification process is an eleven-step manual procedure involving online research and working with an Excel spreadsheet.

If you subscribe to our PowerListings service, we solve that problem for you and automatically discover and highlight potential duplicate listings. You can easily review the potential duplicates and if they’re true duplicates PowerListings will suppress them for you.

Ask us how easily you can sign up for PowerListings.

How to deal with duplicate listings

duplicate listingsThe goal with duplicate listings is to get rid of the one with bad information. Or, if both are accurate, to get rid of the one with the least information about your business. In most cases you can claim the duplicate listing and then you can delete it. (You should also claim the remaining good listing.) The procedures vary somewhat among local sites, but it’s not a very complicated process and is usually easy to accomplish. It takes a few steps, including responding to a phone call or an email from the local site.

PowerListings saves you that trouble and lets you suppress duplicates with just a couple of clicks but admittedly that convenience comes at the cost of a modest monthly fee.

Not showing up when people search locally for what you do? Rank Magic can fix that.

What’s been your experience with duplicate listings? Join the conversation below.

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  • February 11, 2020
    Stacey M.
    Very thorough and helpful.
    Rank Magic
    Thanks, Stacey. I'm happy we were able to help you.
  • February 21, 2019
    Chris C
    Bill is extremely detailed oriented and knowledgeable about all things SEO. Working with him and his company was a great experience and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to rank better in organic search results.
    Rank Magic
    Thanks, Chris. I'm very glad you continue to be happy with our results.
  • October 2, 2018
    John O'C
    Bill and his team stay on top of my web presence, keeping me on top of Google!
  • February 27, 2018
    Chris, T
    Rank Magic has really helped with my website exposure in search engines. Bill takes the time to explain things that I may not understand and gives me suggestions on how to make my website better and more customer friendly. I have seen an increase in traffic over the past few years which is a great feeling.
    Rank Magic
    Thanks, Chris. I'm gratified our efforts continue to help your business.
  • September 7, 2017
    Teri D
    Bill- Had a client call yesterday who was frustrated with another agent in the area; seemed inattentive and wasn't willing to help. She located three other agents within 20 miles. Interestingly, I was the furthest away, however, I had the best reviews online, so she chose to contact our agency and do business with us! Am so grateful for your constant reminders about getting great reviews and high rankings. It works!!!
    Rank Magic
    Thanks for this, Teri! Those review stars in Google listings really catch the eye and the actual review writeups generate trust. I'm thrilled this is working so well for you.
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