It’s not clear-cut whether having duplicate Yelp listings impacts your business’s SEO performance. Nevertheless, it’s commonly acknowledged that having several listings for the same business may confuse search engines, ultimately making it more difficult for them to confidently rank your online business.
In this article, we will explore what duplicate Yelp listings are, how they affect SEO, and best practices for managing them effectively.
What are Duplicate Yelp Listings?
Duplicate listings are multiple entries for the same business on Yelp, which can occur due to a variety of reasons such as human error, technical glitches, or fraudulent activity. Duplicate listings can be of two types – exact duplicates and near duplicates.
To find duplicate Yelp listings, you can use platforms like Brightlocal that scan and search for your business across all data aggregators. To fix these listings, you can work with platforms like Yext or Whitespark to clean up your listing profile on these directories.
How do they affect SEO?
Duplicate listings can harm a business’s SEO efforts in various ways. Firstly, Yelp pages can appear in local search results. Depending on the number of reviews and other factors for each listing, having duplicate listings could potentially weaken SEO efforts by dividing the business’s online presence and diminishing the impact of positive signals like reviews and ratings.
Moreover, it’s crucial to note that Yelp has strict regulations for businesses creating multiple listings. Breaching Yelp’s terms of service could lead to the removal of your listings from the site. Because Yelp helps search engines with verifying the legitimacy of your business, this could cause search impact on your site. Hence, it’s advisable to avoid having duplicate Yelp listings entirely to prevent any potential issues. Search engines may also penalize a business for having duplicate listings, as it could be perceived as an effort to manipulate search results.
The Problem with Duplicate Listings
Duplicate listings can cause various issues for businesses, such as the loss of reviews and user-generated content, potential confusion for customers and search engines, and a diminished user experience. For example, customers may be uncertain which listing to trust or visit, resulting in lost business opportunities.
Having duplicate listings, regardless of the number, is something every online business should address. They can cause confusion not only for customers trying to find your business online but also for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Even if your business is listed in the index, search engines won’t know which listing is accurate. By having only one precise listing in a directory, you send a clear message about your business’s information that provides search engines the confidence to rank you.
There are several negative impacts of having duplicate listings, such as:
- Difficulty in determining which listing will outrank the others. Your accurate listing may never show, resulting in lost business to your competitors.
- Splitting of your reviews among the duplicate listings. You cannot control which listing will outrank the other, so you will never know which reviews customers will see first.
- Inaccurate information from just one listing can be distributed to directories and search engines.
- While fixing duplicate listings can be time-consuming, it’s worth the effort to ensure search engines and customers have accurate information about your business.
Best Practices for Listing Management
To avoid the negative impact of duplicate Yelp listings, businesses should follow best practices for listing management, including accurately representing their business on Google My Business and Maps, regularly checking online directories for duplicate listings and incorrect information, and creating additional listings to highlight different aspects of their business.
Consistency and accuracy of a business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) across directories and data aggregators are essential ranking factors for local SEO. While you can manage this manually, it may become necessary to use an automated solution, especially when managing multiple listings or scaling your business.
However, selecting the right solution can be challenging. Since you’re entrusting your data and your or your client’s online reputation to a third party, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate your options when choosing a listing management solution. Some of our favorites include Yext or Whitespark.
Don’t Let Duplicate Yelp Listings Drag Down Your SEO
While it’s not entirely clear whether duplicate Yelp listings can significantly impact a business’s SEO, it’s widely accepted that having several listings for the same business can cause confusion for search engines, potentially making it more difficult to rank online. Moreover, duplicate listings can cause a loss of reviews, diminish the user experience, and cause confusion for customers.
To avoid these negative impacts, businesses should follow best practices for listing management, including accurately representing their business on Google My Business and Maps, regularly checking online directories for duplicate listings and incorrect information, and creating additional listings to highlight different aspects of their business.
Ultimately, businesses should aim for consistency and accuracy of their name, address, and phone number across directories and data aggregators, which are essential ranking factors for local SEO.