What a citation is a mention of your business name as well as the address on other websites — even if there is not a link back to 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 the 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.
A key component in the ranking are local citations
With other factors that are equal, business with higher amounts of citations is more likely to rank higher than businesses with fewer citations. Citations 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, local 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 local citations from these types of websites.