I went into All Automotive on Clearwater Ave. the other day to inquire about their U-Haul services and got to asking them about their website (typical for me, as you may have guessed). Just for fun I decided to do a little keyword research for them. I went home to do a Google search on “Kennewick auto repair” and noticed that on three of their directory listings, one with Yellowbook, one with Yahoo, and the other with the Hermiston Herald, someone else had slipped in their company’s website in the place where All Automotive should have had their website address posted. Interestingly enough, I never could find their website even though the gentleman at All Automotive thought it would show up on the first page of Google if I searched for “Kennewick auto repair”.
Anyway, getting back to the websites inserted into their directory listing – how can this happen and why would it happen? Well, many directories will be populated by free listings which need to be “claimed” and updated for accuracy by the business that is listed, most of whom aren’t even aware they are in a directory. For many of them anyone can claim the listing and put in any information they want, including their own website.
In the case of the Hermiston Herald and Yahoo the All Automotive listing had the CITGO gas company website listed. Why a gas company I don’t know. But for the All Automotive Yellowbook listing USA Brake and Auto Repair had their website listed. That company is just 50 blocks down the street on Clearwater. Why would they put their website URL in All Automotive’s directory listing? Probably because they know All Automotive gets a fair amount of business off that listing due solely to the fact it is an alphabetical listing and many internet searchers will just start at the top of a list and go through it until they find what they want, just like people used to do with the original Yellow Pages directory (for those of you old enough to remember what those are). Most people have found what they want before even reaching the U’s and seeing the USA Brake and Automotive Repair listing. Pretty clever on their part, if in fact they are the ones who put their website URL in All Automotive’s directory listing.
It pays to spend a little time to see how your business is getting listed on the numerous directories out there. A quick way to see how you look on some of the major directories, or even see if you are listed on them at all, is to go to yext.com and enter your business info and they will report how your business is listed with about 35 directories (most of which nobody has ever heard of but if you are trying to get backlinks to your website to increase your Google rankings then what matters is if Google can see it). They charge an exorbitant amount to get you listed but at least they provide a free list you can work off of yourself and get yourself properly listed.