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No. 426
June 26th, 2009

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The Guide to Australian Citations for Local Search

This article is part of a four-part series on International Citations, written by two Australian Local SEO’s:

Experienced Local SEO’s no doubt already understand the tremendous importance of citations for ranking well in Local Search, but may want to read the two previously-linked articles to understand the bigger picture around this article.

The Australian Local Search Market

Ash’s take:
The search market in Australia, as in Europe, is dominated by Google at around 90% of the market. Last November, the Australian search engine became powered by Google. With the launch of Bing, ninemsn (the MSN joint venture with Channel Nine) search results are now delivered at the domain. As for Yahoo!7 (joint venture with Channel 7), little has changed.

ninemsn (powered by Bing) has the advantage of being the Internet Explorer home page with every install of Microsoft Windows. Sensis search powers many portals of its giant telco parent Telstra, such as Bigpond, the dominant ISP.

As to what constitutes Local Search in Australia is open to debate. Hitwise includes Google Maps in its Business Directories classification, as well as narrow verticals. When Google rolled out StreetView, traffic (as measured by Hitwise) to Google Maps rose sharply and is characterised by sharp rises on weekends, suggesting to me that much of its traffic is for its maps and not the Local Business Centre.

Fabienne’s take:
My first comment would be that local search in Australia is evolving slower than it is in the USA. As you may know, Google local search has now incorporated Yellow Pages and it has created a lot of duplicate listings.

In Australia, and I believe this is the case in the US as well, I have noticed that the number of citations displayed in the “Web pages” tab of Google seems to vary depending on the industry. For instance, sites that are related to the tourism and hospitality sector (i.e restaurants) seem to get a large number of citations from related “review” websites (such as,, Sites that belong to sectors in which user reviews are not (yet) that widely used do not seem to show any citations apart from within their own websites.

Specific Citation Sources

Ash’s recommendations:
These sites frequently show up as citations in Australia:

Bing Local Listing Center isn’t yet available here.

Map Providers
Map providers supply local listings as points of interest (PoI) to GPS device vendors. Here are the main players in Australia:

  • Google Maps, which powers Android devices and iPhone.
  •, which powers TomTom, Garmin, VDO, Uniden, Pioneer,
  •, which includes a business directory (sign up).
  • Navteq (maps by PSMA), which powers Navman, Magellan, Asus, Route 66, Mio, Binatone, Kogan, Laser, Voxon

Fabienne’s recommendations:
In terms of the position within the 10 local search results, it seems that there are a few websites (that do not always get listed under the citation – web pages tab) that can make a difference. These are (in no specific order):

Some of the above-mentioned sites also rank high in the traditional SERPs for the business’s keywords but I am not sure of the influence that that has amongst local search rankings.

Thanks for the tips, guys!  Any other recommendations from Australian SEO’s?

  • Don

    Fabienne’s recommendations are on the money compared to the other bloke’s. Aussieweb and Hot Frog are the dominant Alternative Yellow Pages providers in Australia.

    Finally a major local Australian citation that was missed by both contributors that is quite effective is

  • Hi Don, thanks for sharing StartLocal, I am eager to see results!

  • Don

    Cool Fabie, Start local works.

  • Thanks for your info. I work exclusively for accommodation in Australia and Local Search is really important to this is sector. Looking a website stats, we see a good amount of inbound referer traffic from Yellow and White Pages. Unfortunately, as a service provider its not always easy to get these listings updated with web links.

    What surprises me is the lack of inbound links from AAA Tourism (perhaps no surprise really) and State Websites like Queensland Holidays or Visit Victoria. I do see a few clicks coming through, but would have thought there would be much more with all the ATDW linked websites. I mention that because I know Fabie is connected to Tourism Queensland. Do you think website links are getting pushed back by the States to give preference to other links such as enquiry or booking?

  • Mark, thanks for stopping by. The Hospitality industry & Local absolutely go hand-in-hand…there may not be a sector that benefits more from the 10-pack.

    Surprised that AAA Tourism (which sounds a little like the BBB here in the US) isn’t counting as a citation according to our two experts. Perhaps G does not have a relationship established with them (yet)?

  • Hey.. Thankyou heaps for this page and the search ranking local factors page. I used to have the #1 or #2 or #3 organic rankings on google for my search terms, but now these local listings have jumped ahead of me. I put myself in the list on there but have dissapeared now to the 3rd or 4th page.. So its time for me to try get back up soon..

    So I take it if I try put myself in Fabienne’s recommendations I might appear on the first page on the list?

    I have the dilemma of not having a city centre address. Originally I positioned my business on google maps in the centre of the city, but I don’t have an address to match it. I’m not sure if I should use my PO Box out of the city, or just the centre of the city

  • Deb

    This is great! Would love it if you did a New Zealand one!

  • Hi Mark and the rest,

    Good point about ATDW. I notice that all their images appear under the photos and videos tab and that their listing is also appearing as a citation now. Which is great!

    With retards to AAA tourism (funny it is called BBB in the USA!) and other large overarching sites, I believe it could be due to the the fact that the Aussie Local Search scene is still in its infancy compared to in the USA? David, what are your thoughts? How is BBB integrated to the USA LBC?

  • Have you noticed whether adding a Google Coupon affects ranking? I’ve just experimented adding a coupon for a motel called Victoria Lodge in Portland Victoria. They come up first now, but I can’t remember where they were ranked before. Guess I better take more care if I want to do this right.

    I’ve also linked a YouTube Video. Plus we have a user generated map for all the Golden Chain Motels, which comes up in User Content.

    You’ve probably answered this before, but do these things affect ranking?

    Thanks, Mark

  • Fabie, The BBB appears to be “just like any other” citation source, i.e. Google does not seem to have a direct relationship with them, as I have a number of BBB-rated clients for whom that citation does not show up; however, if-and-when it does show up, it surely registers as a measure of authority & helps 10-pack rankings.

    Mark, the experts in my Local Search Ranking Factors survey did not seem to think that adding a coupon to your listing will have any measurable impact…UGC and Video are both thought to affect ranking much more.

  • Hi Fabie ,thanks for that starter.

    fabie , has been effective for the past few months and i would surely put them in the list of major contributors especially if u’re targetting location/service keywords.

  • Hey Mark and David,

    Oh did you successfully manage to add coupons in OZ? I tried about 6 weeks ago and it was still not applied to Austraia 🙂 Will look into it again.

    Thanks Mohammed re: Stayz – I didn’t list them as I was focusing on the “free” ones but I had also noticed their increased presence.



  • Excellent info, thanks to David, Ash and Fabienne!

    I was trying to work out a citation pattern just last week and as it happens found 5 of the sites named above as citations common to the 7 pack listings for a very competitive Sydney local search and also found an offshore one which I am still scratching my head at!

    Yes found startlocal to be useful – anyone finding DLook to be of use?

  • I always check Startlocal however get frustrated when the contact details are missing or not updated. Looking for an artificial grass company the other day and computer was slow Startlocal came up with no details, used Yellow pages instead :>

  • All of these resources are quite good in terms of boosting local visibility. A good mix of map providers and data providers has been listed but one can get more insight into local search particularly on google maps/places by using tools from whitespark and ontolo. They have local citation finders that can be used to drill down what web properties appear in the highest ranking places pages.

  • Hi,

    I wonder if anyone can advise me if there is a central point to submit citations in Australia please?

    In the UK i use UBL who list my clients with over 50 online directories, they do not have a site for Australia yet.

  • Hi Stuart,

    Unfortunately I’m not aware of such a service yet.

  • Hi,
    Any new insights on local citation resources ?

  • Hi all

    Wondering if anyone has looked at expanding this list?

    I can suggest – anyone have others?

  • A terrific article! If you get a chance can you do a 2015 update?

  • How do you think this has changed in recent times? do you think there are more things that small aussie businesses have to worry about? I’d love to see an updated version of this article.