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Will adding contact info help SEO?
mike2010




msg:4462562
 5:04 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Watcha guys think. Help slightly or no ?

I would think it should help at-least slightly.. as google may interpret sites that don't have Contact info as a little more shady.

but then you might say how would google crawl for contact info...would they just be looking for the text 'contact' and a link to it ? hmmm

 

netmeg




msg:4462570
 5:20 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I doubt that it, by itself, would help you to any degree that you would notice.

brinked




msg:4462574
 5:26 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is a ranking factor. And this does play a role in panda in my personal opinion and more specifically, ecommerce sites.

As an avid online shopper, There are certain things I look for when stumbling upon a new site that carries a product I am interested in buying. Probably the most important thing I look for is a 800 number. I do not want to buy from some dropshipper or some site that doesnt offer phone support. If I have a problem, I want to be able to contact them right away, and not have to wait for a reply to a ticket or some email message which may or may never even get looked at.

Having a support number displayed prominently on an ecommerce site is the biggest most important factor for me. I will simply click off the site if their only measure of contact is a stupid form. If I see a phone number, that tells me this is a company that exists, is in business and cares about their customers and offers instant support. If you're an ecommerce site and you do not have a phone number, you are missing out on a lot of business.

I ran a test on a contact page that was a form. When I did a search for "website.com contact" the vbulletin default contact form was #1 for my site, and the actual real contact page was #3! Even though it was featured more prominently on the site. I added a phone number, and 3 actual support email addresses and within 1 weeks time, it shot up to the number 1 position for "website.com contact". So years and years of ranking 3rd, this page suddenly rises to the #1 position after adding these signals.

Even if it has nothing to do with google factors, have a damn phone number for the sake of your business!

The bottom line is dropshipper/affiliate/spam sites try to rank for ecommerce terms and are not a real business. These sites do not offer any kind of phone support and probably no support at all. I dont care how many back links they have and how much "unique content" they have. They are not getting my business. If google doesnt have this as a ranking factor for ecommerce sites then they are a bunch of fools.

Planet13




msg:4462592
 6:20 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Even if it has nothing to do with google factors, have a damn phone number for the sake of your business!


+1

Leosghost




msg:4462625
 8:01 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

My ecommerce sites do not have phone numbers on..and never had..and have no residential / office address, either..PO box only..

We are not a B&M..

A phone number is nothing to do with how serious" you are as a business..( see also my comments in the G wants more details thread..) client support / sales email addys.. Yes..

Btw..I do fine without a phone number, nor a street or office address on any site..:)

g1smd




msg:4462633
 8:17 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Phone numbers affect local search. Google deduces where an area code belongs to. Make sure your number is presented in the right format:

[libphonenumber.googlecode.com...]

Look at the
International format and National format lines.
bhartzer




msg:4462635
 8:20 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is a ranking factor. And this does play a role in panda in my personal opinion and more specifically, ecommerce sites.

So, what about blogs? Should a blog have a contact page with contact info? Probably so.

I've also heard the same for adding a privacy policy and "terms of service" and "disclaimer" page, as well.

mike2010




msg:4462712
 10:45 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting responses, I thought I woulda been shot down here. Guess not.

Maybe it does help some... nicely detailed, Brinked.

Andy Langton




msg:4462714
 10:47 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Clearly, you can increase your visitors' trust in your site by being obviously contactable, and only good things will follow. But 'displaying phone number = ranking factor' I think is a checkbox too far.

breeks




msg:4462725
 11:25 pm on Jun 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

If a site dose not display contact info it looks like its hiding something, which it probably is. A "contact us" form with no email address or phone number is the same as no contact info at all. If your serious about your business it should have "real" contact info.

Andy Langton




msg:4462739
 12:22 am on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

If a site dose not display contact info it looks like its hiding something, which it probably is.


But this is just blanket advice, and that does not a ranking factor make.

Does Amazon display a phone number? Ebay? HP? Microsoft?

Yes, customers want a phone number, and it is good practice to display one - but it's a big leap to say that displaying one affects Google ranking directly.

Scurramunga




msg:4462752
 1:40 am on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does Amazon display a phone number? Ebay? HP? Microsoft?

And Google, for that matter.

I know that it is possible to find Google details but they are not that obvious or accessible, are they?

If a site dose not display contact info it looks like its hiding something, which it probably is.

Yeah, they are probably trying to hide/protect themselves or their families. In other words, there are many small or emerging online business owners who do not have the resources to separate their private living spaces from their place of business. That's why they were attracted to e-commerce in the first place.

It's not always done by sinister operators. In fact many of the sinister operators will go out of their way to make themselves look credible by using forged or fake credentials.

Andem




msg:4462758
 2:02 am on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

>> If a site dose not display contact info [missing comma]
>> If your serious about your business [missing comma] it should have "real" contact info

I agree. In that respect, I think not looking like a cookie-cutter web site, along with proper grammar and spelling is very important. In fact, I believe that proper grammar and spelling across your entire site is important.

With an exception granted for @breeks, I normally skip any post here on WebmasterWorld which breaks such simple grammar and/or spelling rules.

With respect to having contact information on your site, I have done A/B testing and it has not made a difference over the past few years on any occasion.

@g1smd: Thanks for the link! That seems like a very useful utility!

edit: I didn't mean to be rude. English obviously doesn't have to be your mother tongue in order to participate here on WebmasterWorld.

[edited by: Andem at 2:31 am (utc) on Jun 8, 2012]

breeks




msg:4462768
 2:16 am on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have office number, street address and contact info. Perhaps some of us our fist language is not English . But at least you can get a hold of us and we are not hiding behind a computer screen @Andem.

Scurramunga




msg:4462771
 2:38 am on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

But at least you can get a hold of us and we are not hiding behind a computer screen @Andem.


I have received responsive and articulate email support from online merchants. I have called phone numbers only to be forced to leave messages in vein, or to be held in ques (whilst on the phone) well in excess of one hour. I can say that the reverse is also true, therefore it serves no purpose to make generalised and inflammatory statements.

I would think it is fairer to say that there is a general perception that websites without phone contact details are often viewed as suspicious or unreliable by a segment of online shoppers, rather than to judge the operators of said websites.

netmeg




msg:4462917
 12:42 pm on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

For transactional sites, I think some kind of contact info is important (and obviously so)

For information sites - I don't see that it's always necessary. And even if it were, it wouldn't change my own policy on it.

Do I think they directly influence ranking? Not at this time. But it probably influences user engagement, and that has an effect on ranking.

So indirectly - yes, it probably helps. But I still think it's not going to be enough that you will notice. If your other trust and authority signals aren't there, a phone number isn't gonna help.

goodroi




msg:4462931
 1:06 pm on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you think your contact info will directly & significantly boost rankings move your contact info into an image. Google won't be able to read the contact info if its within an image but your users are still served. That way you can test it and see if its real or tin foil.

Personally I think contact info can be helpful by indirectly influencing other signals but I doubt there is a significant & direct boost due to displaying contact info.

ps Adding local address to a web page can help for local search terms but I think this conversation is more about generic keywords on a national level.

mike2010




msg:4463246
 3:31 am on Jun 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Big companies don't list and don't care about listing their Contact Info because their too big as is. And probably don't even care about their own SEO.

But I think for most sites, it should give a minor bump for SEO.

Whether it'll ever be confirmed = I doubt it. So we just gotta keep on guessin.

adamxcl




msg:4463263
 4:31 am on Jun 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have gotten more into this lately trying to block off future black and white animal attacks. I do think the more legit a site is and seems to be, will help a bit.

Act like a bigger company any way you can.
Have a about us page.
Have a real phone and address somewhere.
Have a costly trust badge of some sort if the site can afford it.
Create some sort of charity/community outreach page and act like you doing something good near you.
Join a local business council or chamber that lists and links to members. You might get credibility and a legit link out of it.

Dave_B




msg:4464092
 7:31 pm on Jun 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does Amazon display a phone number? Ebay? HP? Microsoft?


Amazon- YES
EBay- YES
HP- YES
Microsoft- YES

Andy Langton




msg:4464156
 10:07 pm on Jun 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wasn't suggesting there was no phone number on those sites at all -but that they aren't displaying contact information in a way that is either prominent or easy for search engines to understand.

[edited by: Andy_Langton at 10:46 pm (utc) on Jun 11, 2012]

brinked




msg:4464174
 10:45 pm on Jun 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Andy,

I don't think having a phone number displayed prominently would be a ranking factor. I think if google does in fact use having a support number as a factor, it can be found anywhere on the site so long as it can be easily found by a user.

A lot of great sites that offer wonderful support dont display their number prominently. Having it on a contact or support page is more than enough.

Even if a legit business has the phone number displayed in an image in the header, why would they not also list that same number on a support/contact page in a readable format? How many support pages list their support number in an image? That would be silly.

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