A duplicate is the presence of more than one listing on any given platform representing a single entity. And almost every business runs across the problem of duplicate listings. In fact, it’s so common that a Yext survey of 2,719 locations found a total of 40,607 duplicate listings, or an average of 14.93 per location. If you’re not currently using a SaaS (Software as a Service) to manage your business location(s), you don’t have have the option of having a software find and remove duplicates of your business for you.
Duplicate business listings are major disservice to your bottom line because a duplicate listing can misdirect your prospects, damage your credibility, and diminish your business’ visibility. This guide will help you find and remove those nasty duplicates for good so you can keep your business online presence squeaky clean.
I Spy A Duplicate Listing
Before you begin your search for duplicates, make sure to check data aggregators (Neustar, Factual, Acxiom) for duplicate data. This is crucial: if your business information is not consistent within their system, incorrect information will continue to be distributed through the web after duplicate removal. If your business is already listed in their database, it is free to claim or request removal.
Once you’ve finished the previous step it’s time to roll up your sleeves, and terminate some duplicates. You’ll need to compile different variations of your businesses NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information. Once this is done, create a spreadsheet for keeping track of all of the duplicates you come across, so you can observe if your requests for closure were accepted or not.
Step 1: Search
Run a search query for your business name and any previous names, when you run a search for your business you’ll be able to pinpoint which sites your business is currently mentioned on.
Make sure to look up not only your business name but your phone number, and other NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information as well. Run a search in various search engines (Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo), this will give you a wide range of results to sift through.
Step 2: Dive Deeper
Now that you’ve assessed a few websites where your business information may be incorrect, delve into them and input your business information to double check for duplicates. It’s important to track your progress in this step, so you can go back and identify if the duplicate listing has been permanently removed, or if it has emerged once again after it’s removal.
The final step of this process is going through and removing the duplicates you’ve found. There are various ways to do this, but the most common methods are: emailing, claiming, and filling out removal forms.
Contact the directory with whichever method is available, and request they remove the duplicate business as you are the rightful owner. If you have an email with your company’s domain it’s best to correspond with that email so they are able to verify your affiliation with the business.
If you find the information on the business listing is incorrect and there are no duplicates, the best course of action is to claim the listing, and make the necessary corrections yourself for the sake of your SERP ranking.