An SEO professional was concerned about correct NAP information (NAP stands for name, address, and phone number).
But they are also concerned about local directories. In their opinion, local directories don’t really add all that much value to people looking for a business, because everyone uses search engines for that.
Regarding local SEO, many SEOs try to keep the NAP – name, address, and phone number consistent across directories. And they use services to automatically do that.
So this is really a two-part question.
One – does Google really care if you’re listed on a local directory and if the information they have is correct?
Two – if you do go with one of these local companies to automatically manage your listings, aren’t you just throwing your money away?
John explained that he doesn’t know on this one – it’s hard to say because he doesn’t feel comfortable saying that all local directories are bad or good. He imagines there is a lot of variance between these types of sites, so from that perspective, he doesn’t want to claim it as a yes or no kind of answer.
For the other part, regarding the same name, address, and phone number, he is not sure how that plays into Google My Business.
But, he does know that in general, having the correct NAP information on Google does contribute to Google recognizing the entity behind a website or a business.
For this, it does sometimes help to really make sure that they have consistent information and that they can recognize that this information is correct, because they found it in more than one place on the web.
Usually, this does play more into the Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panel side of things, where if they can understand this is the entity behind a site, including all the mentions of that information, then they are able to trust that the information is accurate.
This happens at approximately the 7:35 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
So I have questions on two different topics, if that’s all right. I’ll try and make it short. So the first one deals with local directories. And in my opinion, local directories don’t really add that much value to people looking for a business. Everybody uses search engines for that.
So in regarding local SEO, a lot like SEOs try to keep the name, address and phone number consistent across directories. And they use services to automatically do that. So it’s really a two part question.
So like A–does Google really care if you’re listed on a local directory and if the information that they have is correct? And then if you do go with one of these local companies to automatically manage those local listings, are you just throwing money away?
Um, I don’t know. It’s hard to say because I don’t feel comfortable saying like all local directories are bad or all local directories are good. Because I imagine there is quite a lot of variance between these kinds of sites, and so from that point of view.
I don’t want to frame it as a yes or no kind of thing. The other part with regards to the exact same name, address and phone number. I, I don’t know how much that plays into Google, Google My Business, what is it–Google business profile is the new name, kind of the local listings and that part of thing.
One, one place where I have seen a little kind of in that direction, which might not be perfectly relevant for local businesses, but just generally in us kind of recognizing the the entity behind a website or a business. And for that, it does sometimes help to really make sure that we have consistent information that we can recognize that this information is correct, because we found it in multiple places on the web.
Usually, this plays more into kind of the Knowledge Graph, the knowledge panel side of things, where if we can understand this is the entity behind a website and kind of there are different mentions of that entity in different places and the information there is kind of consistent, then we can trust that information.
Whereas if we find kind of conflicting information across the web, then it’s a lot [inaudible]. And I remember especially a few years back, when we started with the local business structured data on pages, we ran into that every now and then where people would have a local profile with opening hours or phone numbers.
And then on the website, they marked up something that is conflicting with that. And on our side, we kind of have to make a judgment call then. Like, we don’t really know what is correct. Like, on the one hand, in the tool, you said, this is your opening hours. On your website, you’re saying this. It’s like, what is actually correct?
And in those kinds of situations, it’s easy for our systems to get confused and use the wrong information. Whereas if you find some way to consistently provide the correct information everywhere, then it’s a lot easier for us to say, well, this is actually the correct information, we should definitely show it like this.
And whether or not you use a tool to do that. Or if you just have like a handful of mentions on the web where you’re listed as a local business, you probably don’t need a tool. But kind of just regularly going out and making sure that the information about your business, about your website is correct. I think that is kind of relevant and helpful.