Darren Shaw will be speaking at the “What Drives Local Rankings” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I’ve been doing web development since 1996, and SEO since around 2001. I started my company, Whitespark, in 2005 and we primarily did web development for local clients with a bit of SEO for the first 5 years. In 2010, we launched the Local Citation Finder, and the business has changed quite a bit since then. These days we focus on tool development, services for local SEO, and local SEO research.

2) At a high level, why should a business care about “local citations”?
A citation is a mention of your business out on the web. It’s typically found in the format of business name, address, and phone number. The more places Google finds this information, the more prominent your business looks when compared to other similar businesses. Prominent and active businesses will rank better in local results. So, getting more citations out there on quality web pages that also mention your services should help with your rankings. Citations are like the links of local. You want more than your competition, and you want them from quality, relevant, sources.

3) What are some of the top local search trends for 2013?
David Mihm recently laid it out much better than I ever could, and this is supposed to be a “mini” interview, so rather than regurgitating his brilliant ideas, I’ll simply suggest this excellent post:
How Local Search Will Evolve in 2013

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