What a citation is a mention of your business name as well as address on other websites — even if there is not a link back you your website. For example, a citation could be an online yellow pages directory that lists your business; however your business is not linked to it. You can also find citations on local pages of chamber of commerce, of in page of local business associations which includes the information about your business, even if they are not lined at all to your own website.One of the key components in the ranking algorithms in Google or Bing are citations. With other factors that are equal, business with higher amounts of citations are more likely to rank higher than businesses with fewer citationsCitations from portals that are well established and well indexed, for example Superpages.com, help to raise the amount of certainty the search engines have about the contact information for your business and categorization. As Dennis Green, former Arizona Cardinals coach stated, citations help search engines make sure that a business “is who we assume they are!”
When it comes to less competitive niches, citations are particularly important, for example electrical or plumbing, where quite a few service providers do not even have a website themselves. Without very much additional information, search engines really rely on any information that they are able to find.
Another thing that citations do is validate that a business is in fact a part of a community. It is very difficult for someone to fake membership in a city, county or chamber of commerce business index or having someone writes about them in a popular blog or local online newspaper.
You can dramatically improve your ranking on local search engines with links and citations from these types of websites.