I understand why “Link Signals” and “External Loc. Signals” would be separated within Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, but the overlap must not have been lost on the marketers surveyed. Are hyperlinks from data aggregators and citations not link signals?
Either way, with estimated weighted signaling of 17.3% and 13.3%, respectively, for “Local pack/map factors”, and 28.6% and 8.4% for “Local organic factors”, the suspicion that the categories bleed into one another, and the chunk of the pie too great, not to excel at the low hanging fruit of citations and local link building.
Linked is a Google spreadsheet listing citation sources facilitated by Whitespark, Synup, Advice Local, and Yext, with a tab for vertical-specific (in this case, automotive). Additionally, I particularly appreciate Darren Shaw of Whitespark’s Whiteboard Friday on scrutinizing NAP variations when citation building.
I find it interesting, using automotive as an example, that it used to be purely altruistic to sponsor a local little league team or a 5K charity run. Now, thanks to search engines, there’s measurable ROI.