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local SEO: citations vs backlinks

Are citations and backlinks equivalent in local SEO?

     
12:29 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ok this question has probably been asked before but I don't remember seeing it answered thoroughly.

If I want to promote a local business (eg. a spokane roofing company), does adding backlinks help SEO taking into account the presence of the Google local map listings.

I have heard that for local businesses citations are needed. Can citations be replaced with backlinks? Which is better for local SEO?

I want to promote a local company and wonder if adding lots of backlinks will really help.
8:28 am on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've seen businesses ranking in local search without any links (because they don't even have a website) - but they do have lots of business listings with their telephone number and postcode.

So yes I'd say that you should think of citations as well as links. Getting mentions in Yellow Pages type sites and local directories should be regarded as a must.
4:00 am on Mar 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am thinking of offering a backlink service to local companies (companies that do only local business).

I will add a specific number of backlinks to their website per month.

But I am concerned that they may not increase the number of visitors since there is the Google Local 10/7/3 pack?

Is backlinking worthwhile for local businesses?