Duplicate business listings are fixed all the time in the local SEO business world. With duplicate listings, the duplicate records for your business that come up in the local SEO system can create major havoc in your Google local rankings, it could also lead to loss of business and make you feel like you are part of a zombie apocalypse.
It has been seen that no matter what we do, the duplicate lists can come up to create problems for us and this is because of:
Matching, Conflation and the View- How duplicate listings are created
A major and well-known local search publisher like YP.com puts together business listings data from a variety of sources and sometimes this number can go up to 50. These sources are many and they range from government agencies like the IRS, aggregators like InfoGroup and Neustar Localeze, user submitted info and web crawling data.
Each source many have it’s own data hygiene issues. InfoGroup may have two separate listing for the business with two different contact numbers, IRS may have three different names for the same business. A matching algorithm is used by publishers to merge all this data but many a times the local Skynet misses a lot of the issues, which may work towards a SEO extinction level.
A process called Conflation is used by publishers to face the issue of matching algorithm. In this process different data elements are ranked by source. Implementing the conflation process will lead to a business record where it is possible for each piece of data to be from a different source.
Merging or closing dupes do not necessarily work
Most SEOs have come up with a solution for solving this problem. Manually squashing the dupes at both, the data aggregators and the publishers using merging, claiming and deletion tools is their solution.
The other alternative to deal with the problem is try to report the issue through a contact form and wait for a team in Philippines to deal with the issue when they take a break from link building. Sometimes the issue is punted by the publishers and sent downstream to be handled by the data publishers, but they do not do so as well.
For this solution to work you should list all of the sources ingested by the publisher. If you happen to make a mistake then the next time that the match process is run by the publisher and dupe will be created and it will start to appear on Google again.
Even if all the data sources for the publisher are listed and if one of these sources itself acquires a new data source with dupes, then these very dupes will float back to the publisher and you could be in a vicious cycle, standing right back where you started from.
Thus now you understand that why the dupe that you just though you stabbed in the gut keeps showing up over and over again trying to rip out your insides.
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