The following is a curated list of the Top 50 Australian Business Directories ranked by Citation Strength (CS). The Citation Strength metric is derived from a number of signals to give a more meaningful measure for how powerful each citation is. Generally, when people put together these lists they have an arbitrary way of ranking them (using just Moz, or just PageRank or just popularity). Instead we’ve decided to do it the Info Vilesilencer way, i.e. to be the most comprehensive by including all useful signals. We’ve also left out platforms, niche citations and vertical directories as these dilute the usefulness of top lists.
Taking into account Moz metrics, SERPs ranking data across a vast number of industry searches, source popularity (how many other authoritative lists does the citation appear in), feed depth (how many other listings does the citation feed) and rich/review information we’ve built the comprehensive CS metric for each citation. We’ve kept the domain authority (DA) from Moz alongside each listing for comparison purposes. Latest Update: 25th March, 2015
|DA||CS*||Name||Top 30 Ranks||Sources||Rich Info?||Reviews?||Directory Notes|
|86||99||YellowPages||Many||Many||Yes||Yes||Sensis Managed - strong feeder|
|63||93||Yelp||Many||Many||Yes||Yes||Partner of Sensis in AU. Read more about Yelp|
|71||88||WhereIs||Many||Some||No||No||Sensis Managed - Acquired by TomTom|
|52||71||Local Search||Few||Few||Yes||Yes||Previously Local Directories|
|36||68||Local Business Guide||Some||Many||No||Yes|
|52||64||Come On Aussie||Few||Many||No||No|
|29||60||Local Mint||Some||Few||Yes||No||Metrically weak; Lots of Top 30 Ranks|
|38||60||Local.com.au||Few||Many||No||No||Metrically weak; However heavily referenced|
|34||57||GPS Data Team||Some||Few||Yes||No||Visit Business Services to list.|
|39||51||Bloo||Few||Few||Yes||No||Mainly WA focussed|
|33||45||A to Z Pages||Few||Some||No||No|
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Top 50 Ranking Criteria
To be considered for the list, a directory has to offer the NAP Citation as a minimum. To showcase more than just metrics we’ve developed a factor called Citation Strength (CS) for each directory, which is derived from the following:
- Moz Open Site Explorer (OSE) Scores
- Top 30 SERPs appearances (brand/non-brand)
- No. of authoritative source references
- Availibility of Rich Information
- Presence of Reviews and Ratings systems
- Distribution and Feed Power of listings
What Didn’t Make The List – Notable Omissions
When deciding on what to include in the list it becomes important to distinguish between directories, and platforms with a directory component. Entities like Foursquare and Nokia Here, who maintain directory components, operate more like location platforms in their own right – e.g. Foursquare has previously announced they wanted to offer data to 3rd party advertisers. We chose not to place these in the list and instead have included these below under the Other Important Citations and Platforms header.
The other types of directories that we didn’t include were:
- Strictly Pay for Inclusion models – Flying Solo and Business.com.au come to mind.
- Directories with no NAP offering – Ezistreet, Web Directory Australia and a handful of other “Australian” labelled directories fell into this bucket.
- Classifieds-based Directories – Your Gumtree, Locanto and Australian Planet fit in here.
- Decomissioned Directories which are online but inactive – The main one here is CitySearch which has been deactivated by Sensis for some time.
- Niche or Vertical Directories – The big ones like TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon and Eatability target very specific businesses and are not available to list for most business types. We’ll do separate lists of these later.
Lastly, any directories that were offline during the period which we were evaluating and analysing the directories to meet the criteria, didn’t make the list.
Other Important Citations and Platforms
There are a number of very important citations and platforms that a business should claim and/or build listings in to improve their online presence. The reason these other platforms are important is because many of them offer siloed entities that exist purely within a mobile app (e.g. Checking in with Foursquare’s Swarm). This can mean they are particularly useful with certain users or certain devices (e.g. iPhone’s using Apple Maps).
Below is a short-list of the location platforms your business should be listed in prior-to attempting citation building (or as part of your campaign):
- Google My Business – Google’s online business listing product
- Bing Places for Business – Bing’s online business listing product
- Facebook Places – Facebook’s Places directory
- Apple Maps Connect – Apple’s online business listing product
- LinkedIn Company Pages & LinkedIn Showcase Pages – LinkedIn’s companies and brands product offerings
- Yahoo Local Listings – Yahoo’s local listing (scroll down to Try Local Basic Listing for free)
- Nokia HERE – Nokia’s Mapping Application (They have a “not adding new businesses” disclaimer, however this appears to work still create listing)
- Factual – A global data aggregator that includes AU businesses (add your business to Factual)
- Foursquare – A social networking directory to locate businesses
There are also niche industry citations, often referred to as vertical directories, which can be very beneficial to have your business listed within. Examples include TripAdvisor for travel and hospitality (read more about TripAdvisor) and Urbanspoon for restaurants and take-away food (read more about Urbanspoon).
The Top 10 Australian Business Directories (summarised)
This is a brief synapse of the Top 10 Australian citations, to provide a little more detail into why they are important for citation building campaigns.
1. Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages is the commercial grand-daddy that started it all. All IYPs owe their existence to the once gigantic yellow book. In Australia, YellowPages is purely a commercial showing, firstly starting out as a standard listing directory on the internet, before graduating to reviewing and finally maturing into more of a marketing agency portal in the digital space. This is arguably the strongest citation as it is an initial seed for all Sensis entities, and also many of the sub directories out there. At one stage it also provided a feed directly to Google, being an initial source for their Google Places product.
Launched in 2006 by Newscorp alongside a range of other digital marketplaces, TrueLocal found its calling with trade services initially, showing up for searches on everything from local electricians to local plumbers. These service area businesses, traditionally finding it difficult to rank across multiple locales, suddenly had a representative voice in TrueLocal. The inclusion of reviews, albeit not in the most highly monitored format, gave TrueLocal its unique niche over all other directories. Whilst being snapped up by Sensis in January 2013, TrueLocal has continued to evolve visually, though it is beginning to show its age in the backend.
Yelp is an interesting creature, first being a rival mainly of Foursquare, before winning the check-in battle and becoming THE review platform trend-setter. Whilst Foursquare has split in two, hoping to tackle the data giants (Factual and co) and dabbling in the check-in game with its mobile app Swarm, Yelp has forged beyond its humbler beginnings to focus on community, events, witty review friends, and showcasing the latest and hottest local businesses a city has to offer. Due to its largely human curated element, Yelp has become the agile human-edited directory that the rigid DMOZ dinosaur could never be.
4. White Pages
White Pages is Yellows little sister. Whilst not as gargantuan in book form as its sister, the White Pages has an important distinction, in that it lists both commercial and residential locations. White Pages has a far more intuitive multi-location platform, grouping locations within the corporate brand structure. Offering a range of display options it also provides a strong accurate citation as many of the placements have accuracy improved (e.g. secondary address lines for shopping malls) via enhanced listings.
Whereis is an oft overlooked Australian business citation, and it’s a mistake when people do so. Whereis exists in two forms, as a maps app whose initial data feed is supplied via Yellow, and then honed through client relationships to refine the location data accuracy. It is this maps entity that is a strong citation for local businesses as it not only supplies TomTom with mapping information, which then also feeds into the Apple Maps system; it also supplies many smaller map vendors with data meaning that it is a seed in itself to many other locational citation sources. The desktop website incarnation of Whereis exists primarily as a feed from Yellow, with little refinement, and whilst it doesn’t have the same seedlings as the maps part, it is still an important player in local optimisation. NB: As of 14th April, Whereis Maps has been acquired by TomTom.
The first non-Sensis associated entity in the list is StartLocal. Founded in 2006 under another name its initial mission was to “become Australia’s most accurate, usable local business search engine and directory”. With a focus on feature rich information and user interaction, it’s not surprising that the directory ranks frequently in the Top 30, and is also heavily referenced by most directory authorities. Relatively strong metrics have cemented this directory securely in the Top 10.
Once the ugly-duckling of the directory world Cylex has had a brilliant rebirth as a fully engaging review and rich information directory. Having been around since 2001 has ensured they are listed with most directory commentators. Cylex boasts that it “operates over 30 online business directories, visited by more than 1 million unique users daily, reaching out to 5 continents and millions of customers worldwide”. Now they have begun evolving from their initial thin-content origins, the directory is beginning to show up regularly in the SERPs.
Localstore began in 2007 as an initiative of Amplitude Technologies. Back then this was a small shopping directory containing just 3 categories. Fast forward to today and they now list businesses within over 20 categories and 100s of subcategories. Heavily referenced, and with many SERPs appearances, the directory continues to improve through its varied range of rich features for business listings – such as special offers and branded product lists.
AussieWeb is synonymous with its colourful CEO, Monte Huebsch. Having been around since 1996 it’s the first name that comes to mind when you think Australian business directory. With a small dedicated team they’ve managed to win a swag of Experian Hitwise awards. Whilst looking somewhat dated, the directory still ranks quite well. A facelift, fleshed out content and a reviewing mechanism could see this directory live for another 20 years.
Rounding out the top 10 is HotFrog. Hopping around in different guises since 2005, it currently exists as a business listing provider. It’s free to claim a business listing which exists in a business card type format including NAP and Map details. The opportunity also exists to include much richer information such as imagery; services and products. Hotfrog used to rank well for brand names and businesses (which made it useful for reputation management) and not so long ago would’ve easily sat in 6th spot on this list. However, due to a thin-content model the directory has become scarce in the rankings, and survives on strong metrics and references from the majority of authoritative directory resources. They recently also removed their reviewing-and-testimonials options from business listings, which has probably decreased the usefulness of the directory further.