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No. 1543
June 26th, 2012

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New Study: The Best Citation Sources By City

I’m really excited to announce a joint study with Darren Shaw of Whitespark that we’ve just published over on the best citation sources for 93 U.S. cities.

The methodology for the study was pretty simple: using Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder, we looked for some of the most common keywords within 71 local search categories across 53 large US cities, 20 medium-sized cities, and 20 smaller cities. We then scored the sites inversely based on ranking position combined with overall number of occurrences. The sites that appeared most often and with the highest rankings were deemed “best.”

You’ll see some blue bars indicating the relative strength of each citation source within each city.  Very interesting to see the continued dominance of traditional IYP sites like and in less-techy, smaller markets, and the overwhelming prominence of Yelp in coastal markets.

  • Sheer awesomeness here! This is probably the most important guide to city-specific citations that exists. Thanks for the great work, David and Darren!

  • Thanks, David & Darren! Incredibly helpful!

  • David,
    Great article. I live in Philadelphia and do a lot of local marketing in the area, this gives great insights as to where I should try to get my inital pages. I appreciate all that you do for the Local SEO community, keep it up!

  • Pure f’ing gold. Thanks guys.

  • … and the BEST Study. Awesome work David and Darren!

  • Interesting study and a very helpful guide when putting together a list of citation sources for clients. Thanks for putting it together and sharing it. Keep up the great work!

    Travis Van Slooten

  • Awesome work guys! Interesting to see a lot of the sources are pretty uniform across all cities. Any plans to do other countries like Canada? Thought Darren, being Canadian and all would sneaked that one in there.

  • Pure joy. good on ya, guys!

  • already I’m a thinking “dang…whyn’t I known about some of these…”

    But further – David & Darren….as Matt said….how about a Canuck flavoured piece too!!!!



  • We need this for UK!

  • David & Darren,
    That is just super! Thanks so much for the work on this, guys.

  • Fabulous! I eagerly await the Canadian version. 🙂 Let me know if you need some research help with that.

  • This is a phenomenal tool! Thank you so much for your hard work on this!!!

  • Steve Bedwell

    London UK please

  • This is an awesome resource and very timely. Thanks for all you do for the SEO community!

  • Greate article David and thanks for sharing the post. It is helpful.


  • Thanks for the great study. Interestingly, many cities have a state, city, newspaper or TV directory included, such as in Dallas for WFAA or Phoenix for AZ Central…Might note that these are actually all fed from the FREE listing. We’ve seen great success in producing multiple citations from this single listing. You simply have to verify the listing and be patient as the feed populates.

    Thanks for continuing to serve as the Guru of Local Search.

  • Why does Canada always get left out? We are like the little brother that’s always ignored. (BTW we dont all live in igloos – only about 57% of the population)

  • I think that going for just the best citations would not be the best stategy. Any small business should list there business not just the top ones but every available citation source for their city.