As a business owner, you might be taken aback when you suddenly stumble upon a duplicate Yelp listing for your business.
This might also lead you to wonder if duplicate Yelp listings affect SEO.
Generally, duplicate listings are bad for SEO as it can confuse search engines and customers. Plus, it’s against Yelp’s rules to have multiple listings for the same business.
In this post, I’ll quickly go over why duplicate listings are bad, where these duplicates come from and what you should do about these listings.
⚡ Also Read: Blocked due to other 4xx issue
Why Are Duplicate Yelp Listings Harmful To SEO?
Duplicate Yelp listings tend to cause the most problems to your yelp listing rather than to your website.
NAP inconsistency (name, address, phone) is the only direct SEO issue to your website. There could also be problems if the yelp listing gets deleted.
Other than that, your website SEO should be fine.
Let’s take a look at these in detail and also talk about the SEO issues that can happen to your Yelp listing.
1 NAP Inconsistencies
It’s a proven fact that inconsistent NAP info confuses search engines, which leads to lower rankings for the business in local search results.
When search engines see conflicting NAP information about a business, they are going to have a hard time determining which is correct.
Basically, they don’t like it. Plus, NAP inconsistencies can also affect user experience.
2 Bad User Experience
Just like search engines, it’s going to confuse customers with things like products and hours of operation. It’s even worse if duplicate listings have different phone numbers or locations and will definitely annoy the users.
They might even think you guys are not professionals and avoid your business entirely and leave a negative review as well.
SEO-wise, higher bounce rate (people leaving your page fast) and lower click-through rates will decrease your rankings.
Plus, customer reviews are going to get divided up into both listings and users will not know which one is the real and actively maintained listing.
3 Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization is a SEO issue that happens when you’ve got multiple pages within a site trying to rank for the same keyword.
These pages end up fighting against each other and splitting up the ranking signals which leads to lower rankings for all of the pages.
In this case, duplicate Yelp listings will have the same content and Google will not be able to determine which listing they should rank for the particular search query.
This results in Google not ranking any of the duplicate listings.
⚡ Also Read: How to use keyword surfer
4 Account Suspension
Turns out, it is against Yelp’s policies to have multiple listings for the same business location.
Yelp’s Content Guidelines specifically states this. So, there’s a chance you could get subjected to disciplinary action, like suspension or removal of your Yelp account.
If your listing gets deleted, it will affect your website’s SEO as well because you lose the link juice, EEAT and relevance the listing was bringing you.
Where Do Duplicate Yelp Listings Come From?
Now that you know the SEO risks of duplicate listings, let’s take a quick look at how these duplicates get created.
Most directories automatically find and add new business to their database.
You or your customers might not realize a business page already exists and add a new one by accident.
⚠️ Important Note: You should always search and check if a page already exists and claim it instead of creating a new listing.
Again, because directories like Yelp automatically gather data they might make 2 listings if they see different NAP details or variations of the name.
For example, XYZ Roofing could also get picked up as XYZ Roofers by certain directories and Yelp will get info from them into the database.
Hiring SEOs who don’t know what they’re doing or competitor SEOs can create duplicate yelp listings intentionally to manipulate rankings. For good or worse.
They can also be created by spammers who try to mess up a business’s reputation.
Changes In Business
If you change your business address, rebrand the business or if the business was acquired by a different party, there will be duplicates if the new listings are made instead of editing the original listing.
What Should You Do About Duplicate Yelp Listings?
This answer is pretty obvious – you should get them removed.
Removing duplicate Yelp listings is easy but you need to claim your business listing first.
Once you’ve claimed and verified your Yelp listing, you can start loading up the duplicate listings.
- Click the “Edit” that’s to the right of the page and this will open a drop-down menu.
- Next, check the box that says “This is a duplicate of another business” at the bottom. It might ask for the links to the duplicate listings again.
That’s it. Yelp will remove these duplicates.