If you are building your online presence, you might be tempted to get as many business listings up as you possibly can. However, this could lead you to a potentially detrimental issue called duplicate listings.
When a company has more than one listing in a single directory, it’s called a duplicate listing. If you want to get the best search engine ranking, you need to know why these duplicate listings happen and how you can fix them.
While Google doesn’t have an official rule to punish you for duplicate listings, they can affect your clients. If any of your duplicate listings has incorrect information or you missed updating a listing when you made changes to your practice (hours, name, etc.), you run the risk of your clients finding the wrong information.
Did you know that many directories feed data to other directories and automatically create new listings? If you have a duplicate listing with outdated information, it might start multiplying across directories. If customers can’t find the right information about you, that could cost you business.
Also, Google can’t differentiate between correct and incorrect listings, so an old phone number could outrank your current, accurate listing. And you don’t want that!
The most common reasons are moving to a new address, changing your practice name, or an old company still listing at your current location.
However, there are times when a misinformed owner or marketer decides to build duplicate listings as a way to boost their rankings. Google tends to filter out duplicate listings and only presents what it thinks are your most relevant listings. You don’t want Google to choose a duplicate listing that’s wrong!
The first step is easy: don’t create duplicate listings in the first place!
Next, track down all your business listings that are already out there. Search your local ecosystem using your NAP.
You can find all the important directory sites on the Local Search Ecosystem Canadian or American editions from Moz. Then do these basic searches on Google and within the individual directories:
You should be able to track down most duplicates using this method, and you can start the cleaning process. Once you’ve done that, you can rest easy knowing that all your patients — and new patients — will only find correct, up-to-date information about your practice online.
Do you want to make sure your business ranks as highly as possible in online search engines? Reach out to us, and we can answer any questions you have!