November 3, 2015

Customer Question of the Month: What’s the Problem With Having Duplicate Business Listings?

By Lauren C.

Are you a brand new, enthusiastic, eGumball customer? If so, great! You’ve signed the contract, picked your keywords, and are ready to get started. But before you start jumping for joy and expecting a higher ranking tomorrow, stop and answer the following important questions.

Did you happen to sign up with another SEO company that failed to deliver on their promises, but began creating citations of your business listing online? Or perhaps you’ve moved several different times and have different addresses and phone numbers for your business in different directories? If so, you may suffer from having duplicate listings, which can negatively affect your online ranking.


What Are Duplicate Business Listings?

When a local business has more than one listing for a physical location or office in a single, online directory, the multiple amount of listings are called duplicates. Duplicates cause a chain reaction that negatively affect ranking by violating search engines’ strict algorithm rules. In other words, search engines despise duplicates because they don’t understand which NAP (name, address, and phone number) is accurate and which is outdated or incorrect.

So what to do? First of all, breathe; that’s what we’re here for. eGumball will work to clean up your business listings so they are accurate and follow Google’s guidelines. However, this can take some time, and is a complicated process that must be done manually. That’s why it’s important to understand how duplicates can hurt your business so you can avoid creating them again in the future.

The Perils of Duplicate Listings

To see the pitfalls of having duplicate listings, check out these possible consequences taken from the Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines.

1. Bad Listings Sometimes Out-Perform Good Listings. Don’t create more than one business listing per location. Why? Because you never know which listing will outrank the others. Perhaps you created a business listing that is now outdated and you no longer live there. If this one ranks higher than your correct business listing, your customers will be turned off and confused.

2. Reviews Will Be Scattered. Got a great review? That’s perfect, but what if it’s listed under an outdated address in a directory? If the rest of your reviews are under the correct listing, and the really good one you want everyone to see is under the incorrect listing, it doesn’t help your cause.

3. Chain Effects Are Hard To Clean Up. Data is often fed from one local business index to another online, so just one, single duplicate listing with bad data can be replicated all over the net. This is hard for even the most experienced SEO gurus such as eGumball to clean up.

4. Updating Business Information Will Be Next To Impossible. Did you move, again? Change your phone number? If your business needs to update information, you could accidently update the wrong business listing if they are duplicates. Furthermore, these changes will never appear live to users because you won’t be editing the listing that Google has decided is the most authoritative.

What’s Next?

If you don’t have any duplicate listings, you’re in luck. Your experience as an eGumball customer will be smooth sailing, and your online presence should be optimized in no time whatsoever.

If you think that you might have duplicate listings, there’s no need to panic. The customer service team at eGumball is well versed in cleaning up online business listings and making sure that your NAP is consistent across the net. However, be aware that it will probably take longer for your business to rank.

Finally, do not continue to work with another SEO company while you are a customer of eGumball. Thinking this will have a positive effect on your business is misguided, and the exact opposite will, in fact, happen.

If you have any questions or concerns about duplicate listings, or want to become an official eGumball customer to help clean up your citations, call our team at (800) 890-8940 or visit our website at egumball.com. We look forward to hearing from you!


Has your business suffered from duplicate listings? What was your specific experience and how has it negatively affected your online ranking? Let us know in your comments!

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