Local Citation Services Compared – MozLocal vs. BrightLocal vs Yext vs Whitespark vs UBL

Local Citation Services Compared – MozLocal vs. BrightLocal vs Yext vs Whitespark vs UBL

We see a lot of questions in forums and blog comments asking ‘which citation service is best?’ So we thought we’d provide a useful resource that compares 5 popular citation services, and lists the pros & cons of each.

Yes there are other services out there, and yes if we had more time we’d like to cover them all; but for the sake of efficiency and time I have opted to cover what I see as the most prominent services in the market (apologies to other providers that I have overlooked).

It goes without saying that I have included our own Citation Service ‘CitationBurst’ in this list. I have tried to remain impartial and give a genuine, unbiased view of each service using the information I have available to me through our own trials & testimony of many others who have used & reported back on each service.

We will publish all* comments left on this post so that service providers, customers & readers can share their comments & advise. Then readers will get maximum value from this resource.

*Caveat – any comments which are pure self-promotion & link-grabbing will be edited.

Rewind…. What is a citation & why are they important?

Yelp citationCitations (aka Local Directory Listings) are a key part of local search optimization. A citation is a mention of your business on a 3rd party website –typically a local directory, event site or review site.  These mentions contain your Business name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) but they can (and should) contain much more detail such as a description of services, working hours, images etc…

Having lots of citations which all display the same, accurate info about your business helps to improve your ranking in local search results. Accuracy & ‘quality’ of your listings is considered the most important factor – sheer quantity of citations has value but is trumped by quality (see recent Expert Citation Survey Results).

So cleaning up inaccurate data, merging duplicate listings and creating new listings is a critical part of local search optimization.

However the act of manually going through each site to find, update or add a listing yourself is very time consuming and repetitive. But there is help at hand! In this post we compare 5 well-known local listing services and present essential facts that you need to know so that you can select the best service for your needs.

USA vs. other countries

This review is USA-centric in that it focuses on services which are all available in the USA, but only some are available outside the USA.USA Flag

The US local data market is more evolved and structured than other countries. There are central data aggregators (Acxiom, InfoUSA, NeustarLocaleze, Factual) that distribute their data out to the wider universe of directories & citation sites.

This aggregator model doesn’t really exist in other countries, although there are some smaller aggregators & even some directories that re-distribute data to other directories. ‘Factual’ is an international data provider so has data on businesses in many/most countries.

Overview: Citation Services Compared

yext vs mozlocal vs UBL vs brightlocal va whitespark

Update listingsYesYesYesYesYes
Create new listingsYesYesYesYesYes
Create account / listings claimedYesNoSomeYesNo
Sites in Network*1,600+53+100+Unknown8+
Countries10 inc USA, Can, UK, AusUSAUSA, Can, UK, Aust10 inc. USA, Can, UK, AustUSA
Google Local / GMBYesYesYesYesYes
Bing LocalYesYesYesYesNo
Yahoo LocalYesYesYesYesNo
Speed of UpdatesFastFastMediumFastSlow
Detailed ReportYesYesYesYesYes
Cost$2-3 / Citation$250-500$79-$399$4-5 / Citation$49 / Year
Ongoing CostsNoYes - annualYes - annualNoYes - annual

*Sites in network – because all services submit to some/all aggregators and then aggregators distribute data onto 3rd party sites/services it’s not clear the eventual reach that each service has.


Overview of Yext

Yext logo

Yext offers a 1-stop solution for taking control of approx. 50 of your online & mobile listings and managing them through one Yext dashboard. They have a direct pipe (an API) into the directories, mapping services & mobile apps in their network so they can take control of your listings & publish edits & new listings quickly.  As a Yext client you also get a more prominent listing on some directories (a ‘PowerListing’) that helps you standout from other businesses. Yext charge an annual, recurring fee so once you start using them you are meant to maintain your ‘subscription year after year – cancelling your account has some repercussions (see below).

5 ‘must know’ facts about Yext

  • Submit direct to 50+ different local directories, mapping services & mobile apps
  • You can quickly update data at any time & also promote special offers
  • Yext provide clear reports & analytics on listing performance
  • Yext charge a recurring, annual fee – not 1 off cost
  • Yext don’t submit into any of the data aggregators


  • $250 – $500 (guide price)
  • Its hard to get a definitive price on Yext. They have an advertised price of $500 but most people can secure a discount if they play hard to get &/or have multiple locations.

Positives & Negatives of Yext

Manage 53 of your listings through 1 dashboardIt’s expensive & cost is recurring each year
Take control quickly & make updates when you needWhen you stop using Yext the listing data reverts back to pre-Yext state
Get more prominence on directories through ‘Power Listings’Only submit to 50 sites - not main aggregators
Good reporting & listing analyticsCan’t select which sites you submit to – fixed list
Submit to many powerful directories & map servicesReputation of being very sales focused with high churn rate

Key question: What happens if I stop using Yext?

The Yext data feeds into their partners stop after 1 year (unless you repay for another 12 months). Enhanced listing info that was added via Yext (e.g. images, working hours) will be removed from the listings immediately. Basic listing data (e.g. NAP) can revert to pre-Yext state because it loses it’s ‘locked’ (aka trusted) state with each of the directories/services Yext feeds into.

My opinion on Yext

Yext have done a decent job of getting the technology side right, although they haven’t (by many accounts*) sorted out how to merge or remove duplicate listings yet. They do charge a lot for using their service and if you stop paying them your listing info can revert to its old state which may be wrong/incomplete**. In this sense I consider them to be the equivalent of PPC for listings – they offer a quick solution to sort your listing data out but once you stop paying all the benefits quickly stop. They also don’t submit to many sites considering there are hundreds of citation sites in the US.

Reviews from around the web about Yext



Overview of MozLocal

moz local

MozLocal provide a service focused on distributing data via Aggregators. They allow you to update or submit listing details to the big 4 aggregators + Foursquare, and 3 other directories.  You can run a useful listing audit on their service to see where you do & don’t have listings and you can see where that data is complete, incomplete or even duplicated. You can upload a CSV of your listing data (for 1 or many locations) and then submit this data to their network for a charge of $49 per year.

5 ‘must know’ facts about MozLocal

  • MozLocal submits to all 5 US aggregators (doesn’t work for non-US biz)
  • Good audit tool to view existing listing completeness & duplicates
  • You can update listings & re-verify listing data at any time
  • Charge an annual fee – need to commit to maintain trusted status of data
  • Listings go live slower due to delays in aggregator distribution*

*See data distribution timeline – https://getlisted.org/static/resources/listing_time_to_live.pdf


  • $49 per location per year

Positives & Negatives of MozLocal

Submits to all big aggregators for relatively low chargeSlow updates – listing changes can take 2-3 months
Manage multiple locations in 1 dashboardRecurring annual fee – failure to pay means data may revert back
Good audit tool that shows duplicate listingsDon’t create accounts/claim listings on all local directories
Well supported by a knowledgeable teamReports are not white-label & can’t be emailed to clients (yet)
Data can only be uploaded via CSV – no online interface (yet)

*This issue is not of Moz’s making  – this is an aggregator issue and is a flaw in an Aggregator-only approach to listings.

Key question: What happens if I stop using MozLocal?

(taken from Moz Local FAQs) Moz Local will simply report to the sites in our network that the listing is no longer under management by one of our customers. In this event, Acxiom and Neustar Localeze will revert your listings to their status prior to your Moz Local subscription. In some cases, your other listings will lose enhanced content like website URL, secondary category information, logos, and other images.

My opinion on MozLocal

The team behind MozLocal have excellent pedigree in understanding the local market and developing strong SaaS tools. MozLocal is a useful tool for checking listing status and for managing submissions to aggregators at low cost – by comparison Localeze alone can cost up to $247 for a singal location! It’s nice to hit all 5 aggregators in 1 go and manage that in 1 place. The downsides are that listings are not claimed on each site, which means other people can claim your listings instead of you. Data can also revert if the feed into aggregators isn’t paid annually. And there can be long lead times for the data to go live on some sites & have an impact in Google (2-3 months).  Many local biz owners are too impatient to wait this long and agencies need to show results sooner to keep clients happy.

Reviews from around the web about MozLocal


Overview of BrightLocal

brightlocal logoWe have been building citations for customers for over 4 years. We have an in-house team of 30 submission agents & managers. We submit direct to site and have a database of 1,600 citation sites.  We also submit to 2 aggregators and are adding 2 more shortly. We have smart & easy-to-use interfaces for setting up campaigns, selecting citations & detailed reporting. We operate in 4 countries – US, Canada, UK & Australia and offer clean-up of existing submissions and new submissions.

5 ‘must know’ facts about BrightLocal

  • We submit direct to each site & claim your listings (1,600 sites)
  • 1 time cost – no recurring charges
  • You can select exact quantity of submissions & which sites to use
  • Guarantee that 70% of submissions go live in 4 weeks of submission
  • We operate in US, Canada, UK & Australia


  • $2-3 per submission (= $100-$150 for 50 submissions)

Positives & Negatives of BrightLocal

Guarantee that 70% of submissions go live in 4 weeksDon’t currently submit to Factual or Localeze (yet)
In-house team of 30 experienced submission agents/managersDon’t provide custom citation research (can do for larger customers)
You select number of submissions & choose the sitesDon’t guarantee that ALL submissions will go live
Charge 1 time cost – no recurring fee
Submit to mix of aggregators & direct to most site
Create & claim accounts on directories
Clear online interface & campaign reports

Key Question: What happens if I stop using BrightLocal?

As 95% of our submissions are direct to site rather than into aggregators, the majority of listings are claimed & ‘owned’ by the customer so data remains intact in future. But for any aggregator listings, after 1 year the feeds from aggregators into 3rd party sites lose their ‘managed’ status.

My opinion on BrightLocal

I can’t really provide an opinion of BrightLocal without it being biased. So all I’ll say is that we have completed over 300,000 submissions for more than 5,000 businesses and have lots of repeat customers. We have a big enough team to deliver citations at scale but also maintain focus on quality of citations delivered.

Reviews from the web about BrightLocal

The majority of info & reviews on BrightLocal are our tools & reports, not about CitationBurst. So we haven’t included these because they’re not relevant to this study.


UBL logo

Overview of UBL

UBL are a specialist local listing service that provide submission services in USA, UK, Canada & Australia. They provide a blend of aggregator submissions & direct to site submissions. They have a range of packages which include distribution via 2 main aggregators & 10 direct submissions. They also offer additional services such as creation of online ‘webcard’ which is effectively another citation & management of Google+ Local listings.

5 ‘must know’ facts about UBL

  • Submit to mix of aggregators & direct to site
  • Can handle set-up & claiming of Google+ Local listings
  • Can handle Facebook & Twitter account creation
  • Charge is annual to keep trusted data status in directories
  • Operate in USA, Canada, UK & Australia


  • $79 – $399 per location per year

Positives & Negatives of UBL

Specialist & dedicated submission serviceDon’t submit data all main aggregators
Combine aggregator & direct submissionsCan’t select which sites you submit to – fixed list
Can claim & submit directly to Google+ LocalCharge an annual fee to maintain listing trusted status*
Can claim & submit directly to Facebook & TwitterDon’t create accounts/claim listings on all directories
Handle phone verification on some sitesListings via aggregators can take 2-3 months to go live

*This issue is not of UBLs making  – this is an aggregator issue and is a flaw in an Aggregator focused approach to listings.

Key question: What happens if I stop using UBL?

After 1 year the feeds from aggregators into 3rd party sites lose their ‘managed’ status. Listings with Acxiom & Localeze revert to status prior to using UBL. Any direct listings with claimed profiles remain intact & ‘’owned’ by customer.

My opinion on UBL

UBL are a specialist listing service. They sit somewhere between SaaS service provider & outsource agency. They’re pricing is economical at lower package levels but expensive at top end. They offer a good blend of aggregator submissions & direct submissions however they don’t submit via 2 key aggregators.  They submit to Google+ Local which is a plus point for those who don’t want to do this themselves.

Reviews from the web about UBL

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Whitespark logo

Overview of Whitespark

Whitespark are a well known SEO & web design agency based in Canada. They run a popular CitationFinder tool and also offer citation building services in 10 countries. They operate more like a citation agency than a citation service provider. They offer bespoke citation research & citation clean up based on the specific client/location they work on. They partner with a 3rd party business OptiLocal to deliver citations.

5 ‘must know’ facts about Whitespark

  • Have a strong team with great local knowledge/citation knowhow
  • Submit to mix of aggregators & direct to site
  • 1-off/adhoc cost – no recurring charges
  • Offer a more custom citation service – akin to an agency
  • Don’t guarantee that submissions will go live (‘expect’ 30%+ to go live)


  • $4-5 per submission (= $200-$250 for 50 submissions)

Positives & Negatives of Whitespark

Offer custom citation clean-up & research serviceDon’t offer guarantee that submissions will go live
1 time cost – no recurring feeDon’t submit to Google Places/+ Local
Submit to aggregators & direct to certain sitesReporting limited to CSV – no online/PDF reports
Create accounts on directories which clients own/accessOutsource some citation work to 3rd party (OptiLocal)
You select number of submissions & which sites usedHave limited citation databases outside of Canada & USA

Key Question: What happens if I stop using Whitespark?

Whitespark do a lot of direct to site submissions. Therefore any direct listings with claimed profiles remain intact & ‘’owned’ by customer. But for aggregator listings, after 1 year the feeds from aggregators into 3rd party sites lose their ‘managed’ status.

My opinion on Whitespark

The team at Whitespark have great local knowledge, good reputations and know the citation market well. They provide a good custom service which is what some local businesses want & need, but would struggle to deliver citations at scale. I believe that they cater more to business owners rather than search consultants/agencies. They charge more per submission than other services (e.g. 25-40% more than BrightLocal) and only don’t offer any guarantee that submissions will go live – suggest that 30% of their submissions will turn into live listings.

Reviews from the web about WhiteSpark

The majority of info & reviews on WhiteSpark are for their CitationFinder tool not their citation service which isn’t really relevant to this study.

Got a different viewpoint on this subject or some useful insights you want to share? We’re interested in publishing unique content written by smart marketeers on our blog. Contact us with your details & ideas and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

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52 thoughts on “Local Citation Services Compared – MozLocal vs. BrightLocal vs Yext vs Whitespark vs UBL”

  1. Hi Myles,

    I was surprised to hear you say that BrightLocal has an in-house citation team. I had heard your citation work was completed by http://qualitysubmissions.com/. Is that not the case?

    Also, thanks for including Whitespark in your comparison. I’d like to address a few points you’ve made about our service.

    1) We say that typically 30% of the submissions will be live at the time you receive your report. These would be the sites that post submissions instantly, and within 4 weeks we expect about 70% of the citations to be live, just as with your service. I just added an additional line to our citation building FAQ to mention this: http://www.whitespark.ca/citation-building-faqs

    2) Our local/niche citation building services are one of the great pros of the service I think you missed. We have the only service I know of where we do custom research on city-specific and industry-specific citations. These kinds of citations can provide a significant relevance boost in your citation profile.

    3) To address your thinking that we cater more to business owners, I’d say about 80% of our orders are repeat orders from agencies.

    4) Our reports are delivered in Excel, not CSV. We find this to be the best way to report on citations because they’re very easy for the agency to brand and deliver to clients as their own work.

    5) Because we also submit to local specific and industry specific sites, we have over 3000 sites in our database of quality citation sources. Our full database is over 10,000, but the remaining sites don’t meet our quality standards.

    Thanks again for including us. I think you’ve done a decent job remaining balanced and factual based on the information you could find online.

    1. Hi Darren. Thanks for posting such a detailed comment. We genuinely want this article to reflect the truth about each service and we will amend based on your comments.

      To answer your question on our in-house team. We’ve operated in house team since we started on submissions (3 years back). A long the way we have tested a few outsource services to supplement our own team and 1 of the was QualitySubmissions. We stopped pretty quickly because (contrary to their name) they didn’t provide good quality. We’ve found that the only way to ensure quality is to control the process end to end from training agents > submission delivery > QA & review. It’s more expensive to do this way but the outcome is so much better for customers.

      Thanks Darren – best wishes to you & your team.

  2. Good comparison with quite a lot of info on each service all in once place. Yext and UBL were both no good for me but I haven’t tried Brightlocal before. I recommend checking out DirectoryBug Pro Listings too. They kill it with unique descriptions, fully filled profiles and live listings in your report.

  3. Myles,
    Nice review of the main citation builders. One of the important feature that I didn’t see in the reviews was clean up of existing citations. I know this can be a big problem in citation building. I know whitespark has a cleanup service, but its pretty expensive (although I’m sure its worth it). Does BrightLocal or any of the other services do any cleanup for duplicates?

    1. Hi Mike. We include a row in summary table on ‘Update Listings’. This covers clean up of incorrect citations and to some degree the removal of duplicates. Removing duplicates is an important task but one that often has mixed results because the process is not clear or robust on most sites. Generally it’s like this –

      1. Identify duplicate listing
      2. Make request to site for duplicate to be removed or merged if there are reviews on it
      3. Wait for site editors to review request & listings
      4. Prey that they make the change as you asked them to do!

      WhiteSpark do offer this service as do BrightLocal. But because of the relatively low success rate it’s hard to offer guarantees around this – we truly are at the mercy of the directories.

      What we have found works best is to always give directories as much info as possible so their editors can quickly make a decision about whether to remove/merge or not. Give them links to G+ Local & business website + other key citations showing the correct business info. This means they don’t have to do any research to confirm the details of your request. Then obviously make it clear which listing is the one to keep so they don’t inadvertently remove the right one 🙁

      FYI – MozLocal has a nice ‘dupe’ spotting engine on their tool.

  4. Myles & co,

    What are your recommendations for doing more than 1 of these at a time for a client? It seems like there’s a mixure of manual updates + seed data distribution in most of these options. Our agency has been manually claiming the top 20 citations for the client, then shooting for seed data cleanup on the rest. That’s been the most effective “rule” we’ve followed recently.

    Lends to the question, “Is there more firepower for getting quick results for our clients by signing up for more than 1 of these services?”

    By the way, I think this is a 100% healthy conversation to be having. I’m excited to see Myles and Darren openly sharing this information with all of us. Local needs ambassadors like you 2. Bravo.


    1. Hi Robb. Thanks for your comment & i completely agree that this is a positive conversation to have – will benefit the local search community all round.

      I think that there are definite benefits for combining the approach taken with citations, not necessarily by using both types of service.

      My personal belief is that a 2 pronged approach works best –

      1. Use aggregators to tackle listing issues at source & use reach of aggregators to get data spread across hundreds of local sites/services/apps – takes 2-3 months

      2. Use manual, direct to site submissions to quickly claim listings on most important 50-100 sites and get quick updates. This gives you ownership of these listings and keeps data locked & in your control. This is a 1 time act, until the point that your biz details change and you need to change listing info.

      To this end you might combine using MozLocal for aggregators, with BrightLocal for speedy manual listing update on top sites you handpick.

  5. Myles,

    Thanks for the informative post, I feel that most SEOs will value this info. My personal experience with citation includes Yext for clients, Moz Local (back to the GetListed days), as well as use of the WhiteSpark tools.

    For my clients and I, the main goal of citations was to help increase rankings in the map pack as well as get referral traffic from credible sites. I found that Yext did nothing to help with this despite a nice $500 price tag. I like the resources Moz Local provides however I find there listing status tools to be inaccurate at times (ex. I manually create a listing and the tool still says inaccurate or missing listing). WhiteSpark is great for those niche citations, but I also will say that Moz Local does provide some cool resources on listings by trade or by specific city.

    In all, I have to agree with your response to Robb Bailey in that a 2-pronged approach is best. Do the important manual ones yourself (I find it is best to work with one person in the actual office for phone verifcation- the biggest pain in the butt of all) and use the aggregators to get widespread coverage. I think a combination of BrightLocal, UBL and WhiteSpark would be a winning long-term strategy that an agency could work over a few months for a client without breaking the bank. As you have eluded, there is currently no one-trick pony.

    1. Hi Daniel. Thanks for sharing your experiences of the services that you’ve tested. I have also read the Moz citations by city & by biz category. On the whole 90% of the same sites appear in top 10 for all locations & all trades so i don’t find it that useful. It would be more useful to have a list of top 10 dedicated location or category citations, that don’t include the big boys such as Yelp, YP.com & facebook because everyone is aware of those sites already. We are working on a research piece for this right now 🙂

      let me know if you’d like to give our CitationBurst service a try and we’ll put some free credits in your account. Thanks Daniel

  6. I need a honest opinion here from you guys. If you’re a single location business, does it even make sense to work with any one of these services? Or would you recommend that a single location business do it on its own?

    I’d be surprised any business would be willing to task a local search specialist with submitting one location to five or six places and only charging $10-25 for it. You’d go broke doing that!

    1. Hi Tony. Sure there’s lots of value in giving this task over to a ‘specialist’. Doing citations requires consistency and time to get it done and many small business owners don’t understand the citation landscape or have the time to review, update & list on ket citation sites.

      Getting listed on only 5-6 sites doesn’t really achieve much for a business. If these 5-6 are the most powerful citation sites then it helps, but why stop there?

      We typically advise customers to aim to build between 50-100 citations and then pause to see the impact these have on ranking. Submitting/updating on this many covers off the most valuable sites + some decent vertical & local sites.

      In terms of pricing your services to a local business. It’s really hard to do citations in a high-quality way for any less than $2 per citation. You need to show that you can add value in other ways by understanding the citation landscape, knowing the submission rules & then tracking campaigns afterwards. This all takes time & knowledge which most local business owners don’t have so are willing to pay for.

  7. Hi Myles,

    Of the services you compared, you only mention one that has the ability to maintain multiple locations with one dashboard- mozlocal. I used Yext once upon a time and seem to recall being able to put in multiple locations, but I could be mistaken.

    In any case, my new company has about 10 locations, and I would like to define the services offered at each, as well as the providers if possible, while doing as little work as possible. Is there any more insight you can provide specifically for multiple locations that offer different services?

    1. Hi Navid – apologies for slow publication of your comment – we had lots of comments around that time & it slipped past us.

      I believe that you can manage multiple locations via the Yext dashboard, but i didn’t feel it was one of their key strengths. Given your comment we’ll review & update this post to make it more useful.

      All the services provided are able to handle multi-location businesses – including BrightLocal. Some are better set-up than others but with just 10 locations i believe that all providers can handle this in an efficient way.

      If you opted to try BrightLocal for example we could –

      1. Assign an account contact to assist with campaign set-up
      2. Set-up campaigns via CSV upload
      3. Select best citations for you
      4. Scheduled & complete citations and report results back to
      5. Display all locations in single dashboard so you can click to view campaign reports for each location

      Does this give you the type of time-saving solution you’re looking for?

  8. Note from Editor – this comment has been edited due to ‘excessive over-promotional content’

    When talking about prominent platforms you are leaving out what is probably the best all around platform on the market sweetiQ.

    They currently handle all the local work for FED-EX, DOMINOS, CHEMDRY, GENERAL MOTORS to name a few.

    Having used all the platforms you discussed , I can say without a doubt that sweetiQ is head and shoulders above all the ones you have listed.

  9. Hi Myles,

    Still waiting on an answer to my comment. I’m shopping around for a citation builder that can handle 10+ locations each with a different set of services and some overlap of services. Since this is the most recent comparison post (I’ve seen some others but it seems one or more services have been revamped since some of those posts) I thought you might be able to help me wade through the options.



  10. I’m curious about where a service like Vendasta’s Presence Builder fits in the mix. They submit business listings to all the four major data providers: Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Neustar (Localeze). Has anyone used this? It seems really similar to Moz Local.

    I’d also be interested in thoughts on duplicate listing removal/suppression tools. Myles offered a nice rundown of duplicate removal approaches of BrightLocal and Whitespark. Yext is now offering such a tool, which apparently redirects duplicate listings to the desired, controlled listing on the Yext platform. Has anyone tried this tool, and are there new alternatives out there?


  11. In researching whether or not to have another service provider handle out local listings for us and clients and being a Moz fan, I’m glad I found this post. I’d never heard of BrightLocal and WhiteSpark, so to read up on you both is pretty interesting. For WhiteSpark, I’m really liking the fact they do localized research for some authority (and real) citation sites which can add a lot of value to a local search campaign. On the other hand, BrightLocal seems very reasonably priced, all things considered. I’ve used UBL before and was not happy at all with their support or how their listings actually went through. Cumbersome and did I mention their support was pretty terrible.

    I know it’s a challenge to remain unbiased when comparing your products to a handful like you’ve done, Myles. But, I do think you handled it well and provided the facts, which ultimately will be the deciding factor for many of us in the field looking to better our clients online visibility.

    I’m going to continue to look into BrightLocal and WhiteSpark and see what we can do! Thanks for letting me post my thoughts and again thanks for sharing yours! – Patrick

    1. Hi Patrick. Thanks for the feedback and appreciating that we’ve given a fair appraisal of each service here – our intention is always to be useful and fair.

      Please let me know when you take a look at us. I’d be happy to give you some free credits to test out CitationBurst and hopefully our delivery & customer support will delight you and you can purchase more with proven confidence.

  12. Hello Everyone,
    I like the overview of the 5 corps so far and the ongoing conversation. But why no one mentioned what those companies can do specifically besides submission and creating the citations? For example, as a business owner, do I get enhanced content on all the sites and directories? What I mean is a full page profile page on online directories including:
    60 characters title tag – “tagline” ( very important for SEO efforts )
    Up to 2000 characters business message ( overview of a business )
    Link to business website ( connecting people to reservations page right away )
    Link to Services/Prices ( menu link )
    Aggregation of any Special Offers ( online coupons )
    Ability to post reviews on directories
    Unlimited number of photos
    List of categories
    Map of the location
    Hours of operations
    Methods of Payments accepted by the business
    Video ( which site supports a youtube video for example )
    As an SEO people you all know that basic listing is not enough anymore. Search engines like lots of content, fresh content and unique content. So just having basic listing on those directories will not help much in boosting the online rankings. Content is the king these days. So does any of the 5 companies described above will assure my business an enhanced, fully build profile page on those directories and mobile apps? I know Yext does guarantee that but they are too expansive. Any ideas?

  13. Great article and great resource Myles!

    I noticed that every service listed limits citations to general categories and placements only in cities where advertisers have a physical office. Do you think there is a market for local citations that can offer highly customized key-terms and listing placements in every city across targeted counties and/or states rather than all in one or limited cities?

  14. This article has been exactly what we’ve been looking for as we’re wrestling with which service to start using for our clients. Personally the cost for yext doesn’t seem to be supported given the other offerings in the marketplace, but again that’s based on our research rather than having used the service.

    As an agency, one big interest for us is the reporting capability as we would like easily generated reports, ideally not just excel, preferably a graphical PDF, that can be presented to clients to clearly present the work undertaken and the status.

    We reached out to Moz Local today asking about what reporting they included and this was their response.

    David Lee (Moz Help)
    Jan 30, 2:19 PM

    Hi Rob

    Thanks for reaching out! Our reporting features are currently being finalized and we are hoping to deploy them within the next couple of weeks. If you would like I can keep you posted once they have officially been released. I don’t know what they will look like yet but I will try to get some examples for you next week.

    Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!

    David Lee
    Moz Help Team

  15. I am a local business. My moz local score is 52%. Is it worth spending the $84/year to get my moz local score to 87%? Thanks.

  16. Hi Darren,
    I can vouch for white spark being outstanding they really do a great job. Very professional really know their stuff. Moz Local is great too however if you need to clean up citations and you want it done correctly I recommend white spark there also able to build niche citations which is important.
    Whitespark, MozLocal then BrightLocal
    My opinion is they’ll do something slightly differently so if you have a lot of local stuff to do talk to Darren at white spark not to say anything negative about bright local I love their enterprise software and you really can’t go wrong with any of these guys. I will see you all in a few days at localU

    1. Thank for commenting Tom. We’ve heard good things about Whitespark too. It’s great that there are a number of companies offering a citation building / clean up service, which keeps the market fluid & competitive. So thanks for adding to the discussion!

      As an aside, I saw you’ve taken out a trial with BrightLocal but haven’t yet tried our CitationBurst service. We’d love to hear your feedback – so please find 10 free CitationBurst credits added to your newly verified account. Let us know what you think.



  17. Long-time Brightlocal customer here, I always recommend it to my clients when I see they need it. Seems like Moz Local really gimped out Getlisted when they bought it, I remember it used to be a lot more sites than 8 (I remember it being 25+ because I scraped their list and spun off a service from it).

    Would like to throw Marketer’s Center into the ring in your list, citations are the most popular service we offer and has been for at least the last year or so.

  18. I love Brightlocal for it’s sources and for the extra functions that they give. Especially the google maps rank checker. So far I haven’t found any better ones for the price. Also the ability to checkout citations that where already build.

  19. Having recently participated in the “Effective Optimization for Multi-Location Businesses” webinar hosted by Miles, I was wondering if things have changed significantly since this post was first drafted? I ask because one thing I noticed is MozLocal is now $84 per location instead of $49 which in terms of percentage is a huge increase. Perhaps there are some new features that are now a part of it that weren’t at the $49 price point?

    Overall, great post Miles. And I really appreciate your sharing your expertise and mentioning your competitors. Well done and high class.

    1. Hi Joe, thanks for your comment. We will take a look and ensure everything is up to date. Thanks for the reminder!

  20. What’s the word on Connectivity? Didn’t know much about them until a recent call. Doesn’t seem top-of-mind like BrightLocal, Moz, and Whitespark but a recent Q&A was intriguing. I think they were Solfo and a Yellowbot connection.

  21. This is a fantastic article. I really appreciate gentlemen like Myles for doing his best to be unbiased and Ross for chiming in as well. I’m beginning a citation campaign for a local transmission shop. Ross can you recommend a citation building playbook- maybe a blog post written by BrightLocal or any source you recommend?

    Any recommendation of a must getting listed on these TOP “X” number of directories would be greatly appreciated.

    I’m very interested in using BrightLocal in tandem with WhiteSpark or MozLocal. Once again, thanks Ross for the post!

  22. I have been told that it is not only important to claim a listing but keep it refreshed over time. The question is if nothing has changed how do I keep it fresh and at what time intervals ? Is there a service which will do this for me ?

  23. This is just what I was looking for – ironically, I read it after purchasing your service to test it out. I notice that in spite of the fact that one of these is your service – the article does seem to be very unbiased and gives a really good outline of them all. I’ll be really interested to see how it goes for the test service we’ve just purchased.

  24. Just came across this article as I’m looking into achieving better local ranking for my business site – thanks for the great info and deep dive into the technical details!!

  25. Excellent article and advise – running a “smallish” business where I service residential and business customers in and around a large metropolitan area, I struggle with the rankings in my local area and will definitely check out the advice given here.

    Thanks again!

  26. Hi Myles, terrific article! I found it via a google search and after much research and reading this, I decided to use BrightLocal for my client here in Orlando. We’re very pleased with our choice.

    Question: Do you currently send data to additional aggregators besides InfoUSA & Axciom? I saw that in your FAQ but wanted to see if there was an update. Also, does that data stay in the aggregators year-after-year or does it revert should a client decide to move on from BrightLocal?

  27. I will just offer the diamond of the article everyone is wondering,

    “I believe that they cater more to business owners rather than search consultants/agencies. They charge more per submission than other services (e.g. 25-40% more than BrightLocal) and only don’t offer any guarantee that submissions will go live – suggest that 30% of their submissions will turn into live listings.”

    I would venture 80% of the traffic here is from fellow SEO’ers, and any local expert will know the race comes down to two horses (well, after this article imo one horse) Bright Local and Whitespark.

    Now that we dispensed with the diamond, let’s get to the gold, what happens to the citations after buyers separate service. I wasn’t even aware of them all so I was very happy with the piece of info gleaned from this article.

    My two cents, I would like to see an article about the citation search capabilities of Bright vs Whitespark and any bonus services offered with each platform.

    Great article, nice length and very informative.

    1. Thanks for the comment Justin. We plan to update this article very soon, so appreciate the additional idea too.

  28. I have been using yext.com for over 5 years. When I started, the top package was $399/year and I was told that it will not go up if I keep my listing current. So, here we are 5 years later and I am still paying $399/year. I found yext because one of my competitors had reviews in topix and it was there I found yext. It sounded too good to be true and I gave it a shot. Just like that, I had all my info & pictures immediately posted to 50+ platforms and I update my info quarterly. I do not know if I would pay $1000/year, but for $399 it’s a no brainer. My specials, announcements, and anything else I deem newsworthy immediately gets blasted on line. And for what it’s worth, I show up on page 1 of google in the 5 categories that are important for my business. And, I just found out recently that yext is sending me the xone Bluetooth device at no additional cost. For me, yext is great.
    A word about yelp: I had advertised on yelp for many years back when you were only paying for impressions. And we have been in business over 10 years. I finally had enough with yelp and as soon as I did not renew my contract, immediately over night, my 100 reviews were cut down to 50 and it was the 5-star reviews that were removed and all the less favorable reviews, some of them over 5 years old, came right to the top of my listing. Can yelp get away with these bully tactics? obviously they can. But what I also noticed was that 3 very new salons that do advertise with yelp had over 100 reviews each in less than a year – this is not possible if you play by the rules – that is what is wrong with yelp: there is no control… anybody (employees, family, friends neighbors, competitors) can go on yelp and boost/bash a business whether they have ever set foot in that establishment or not. It is NOT a levelplaying field on yelp – businesses abuse the system and yelp itself decides on who to make their ‘darlings’ because they can.
    This leads me to my final point: Certified Reviews. I use mindbodyonline for my front end software and because of that I was contacted by demandforce.com (an Intuit company). Demandforce does many things: follow-up, confirming appointments, campaigns and allows clients to post reviews. The reason they are called “Certified Reviews” is because ONLY when a client is checked out at the front desk, when I hit the key to print a receipt, that is when demandforce is notified of that visit. Then, demandforce sends the survey to the client and included in the survey is the opportunity to leave a review pertaining to that day’s visit… ONLY clients who have been to shop and actually had a service are eligible to write a review… none of this crap that goes on on yelp. Demandforce’s certified reviews are written ONLY by actual clients who received a service within the past 90 days. And, demandforce then channels these certified reviews to google where (for us) they appear on page 1 of the relevant search categories. Demandforce is not for everyone – it costs $300/month – but for me, to have OVER 1000 5-star reviews on the first page of google is worth that price. ANd, these are certified reviews.
    Wrapping up, when I started with yext, I was not aware of any other comparable services and after reading the comments here, I gather that yext is not the only game in town. I can say that for me, yext is awesome. It works, it’s fast, efficient and well worth the annual $399. One other thing yext does is instantly notify my when a new review appears about my business on any of its 60+ platforms… it would be horrible if a bad review was written and I was unaware of that review for months. I guess I am a lifer with yext and the annual $399 is just another business related expense (as is the monthly $299 for demandforce, $85 for mindbody, $150 monthly for SEO…). It is now 2016 and one big reason that we are still in business and thriving (despite yelp’s attempts to drown us) is because we keep up with the emerging technology. Sure, getting a new client as a referral is the best, but we get many, many new clients daily who tell me “I went online and did my research and decided to come to Guys & Dolls.

  29. Am I crazy?
    I’m wondering if anyone believes that claiming, creating and managing these listings by hand gives you an advantage? I’m somewhat new to this, but I’m not seeing that any solution here is all encompassing and I wonder if this is a case of taking the time to manually add the major, I don’t know 5-15 key listings makes sense for a small company with 1 location.

  30. What if you don’t have a physical location for your business. I operate a Videography service that travels to clients and I don’t have an office location? I find the physical address part a problem as I don’t want to list my home address.

    Appreciate any responses!

    1. Hi Ralph,

      Great to hear you’ve taken out a trial on the tools, let us know how you get on!

      Really sorry but we don’t offer a free trial of our CitationBurst services, this is because all of our submissions are manual (require human work) and we need to make sure we pay our submission team!

      If you’re unsure about how CitationBurst works or just want some more info here’s a great overview post https://www.brightlocal.com/take-contol-of-your-citations/ or you can sign up to a free 30 minute demo where we can walk you through here https://www.brightlocal.com/free-online-demo/.

      Thanks Ralph


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