Direct Distribution vs. Data Aggregators: Part 2

In Part 1 of “Direct Distribution vs. Data Aggregators”, Location3’s Tom Lynch took a closer look at why brands and agencies are using data aggregators despite almost a decade worth of evidence that shows they have no effect on organic ranking. Lynch points to a study from Darren Shaw that showed a managed strategy resulted in 49 relevant citations – more than double any aggregator in the study.

At Location3 we have done similar research over the past ten years, and we see similar results year after year. When testing a direct-to-source listings optimization strategy without the inclusion of database aggregators, we see an average ranking increase of 27.7% on Google and Bing. When adding each aggregator systematically into our own direct syndication network, we’ve seen no impact on ranking for the tested listings on the top search engine sources.

Another important takeaway from the Darren Shaw study is that it still takes a long time for aggregator content to propagate to listing sources. That publishing timeline has not improved over the years. It takes these sources so long to create the few citations that can be credited to aggregators, in part, because many of their partners only accept basic information such as Name, Address and Phone Number. Another factor in this breakdown is that their partner relationships are set up on a pull, rather than push, basis (partners will only grab the data as frequently or infrequently as they choose to).

In a Location3 study of database aggregators in Q4 2016, we tested more than 70 NAP corrections and additions through the different aggregators to see if content updates were publishing to the distribution sources. The findings were conclusive. Download your free copy below.

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