There are plenty of reasons besides user experience when adding categories to your internet yellow pages (IYP) listings on various sites. This simple step can result in supplying you with great results in Yahoo! Local, Google Local, increased web references, and potential increased rankings in Google web search. Here is how it works:
The web references effect
Google indexes tons of local content a day and tries to match this information up with a local listing. This is called a “web reference” which helps increase rankings in the Google Onebox. One thing you may not know is that a page can be counted as a web reference and not have to be about just one business. Here you see a web reference from the Yodle Local directory:
As you can see, the page indexed as a web reference is a category page for “Male Waxing” which is a child category for the directory underneath “Day Spa”. Getting in many categories which put you on multiple category pages can result in multiple web references.
The results effect
Writing good content and getting good web references isn’t always enough to get your listing to the top of the local results. I recently spoke at the Kelsey ILM:08 show in which I spoke on Local Search Tactics and Video Optimization. A few companies and I were dealt the same business to market on the internet to show the industry the different types of companies available.
The client given to us was Dr. John Vellequette, a Cosmetic Dentist in Sunnyvale, CA. One of the keywords he said he would like to rank for was “Emergency Dentist in Sunnyvale, CA” because he tends to make a nice profit on emergency situations.
When his listings went live I checked Google, and yep #1. Then I checked Yahoo!, but wait, he was #2, and the person in the #1 position wasn’t even in Sunnyvale.
The #1 position in fact wasn’t even a dentist but simply a Dental Referral Service. The fact that the business name had the word “Emergency” in it and added the category “Dental Referral Services” may have been enough for Yahoo! to rank them over the client.
This shows that by simply adding a few extra categories that you may not always think about can easily shoot you up to the top of the rankings with little or no content and web references.
Stephen Espinosa is a Local Search Expert and the world’s biggest Chicago White Sox fan. He writes regularly at www.StephenEspinosa.com. He and his dog Carl live in Winchester, CA with his wife Stephanie. The Locals Only column appears weekly at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.