standenman

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I have 2 GMB accounts: one for my business "Denman Law Office", the other "Stanley F. Denman, Esq.". I have driven reviews to Denman Law Office, none to Stanley F. Denman, Esq. When I look at SERP results I always see "Denman Law Office" in 3-pack. I have been told by others that they see "Stanley F. Denman, Esq." in 3-pack in all its reviewless glory. Tried to handle by what I read I need to do: click "Close or remove this listing" on edit screen, select "Remove Listing". I have done so, but "Stanley F. Denman, Esq." continues to show in 3-pack. What am I doing wrong? Cannot get an answer on GMB help forum.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Stan,

You DON'T want to close the listing it will show you as Permanently Closed on Google. And they won't take a listing down that is legit and exists. "Stanley F. Denman, Esq." still exists. There is a possible way to deal with it but... it's so complicated and there are pros and cons to doing it. Can't even attempt to explain.

I've wanted to say this for a long time Stan. You come here so often with so many issues, questions and problems... At a forum you can get partial replies that don't look at your whole situation. You can get bits and pieces of the puzzle then end up putting it together wrong or wasting your time on pieces that won't make a difference.

I mean we have some of the top pros in the industry so I'm not negating any of their advice, it's just that on all these complicated problems no one can really give you COMPLETE, thorough and accurate advice without doing a full analysis.

You have so many inter-related problems and this is so complicated, you are really doing your business a dis-service I think, trying to do it yourself.

For example many of the problems you've come to us for help with - the 2nd listing could have def played a part or in some cases, been the whole problem. Yet we never knew about the 2nd listing because I/We/consultants don't have time to go deep and do a full analysis when they are just giving free advice about 1 question you have - they don't realize all the other things like a 2nd listing might be at play.

So really recommend you get a consultant to help you get everything in order. I promise you will pay MORE in your own lost time AND lost opportunities on Google than you will pay for a really good consultant to get to the bottom of everything. I don't do consulting any more, but if you want a recommendation please PM and I can tell you who would be best to help you get these issues all sorted out.
 

standenman

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Well, OK. You do realize I don't come here for the fun of it, I genuinely need help, right? I will stop. I have reached out to many SEOs: get "I'm too busy" (you may recall you and I talked several years ago about your services and this is what you said). Other experiences:

1. Give me $4000 to do an in depth analysis of your site. $4K and no actual work done to fix the problem!

2. Sign up for over $1K a month for at least 6 months. Any guarantees that they will fix my issues? No, of course not, "google is very complicated"! What proof do I have that the SEO is doing anything for that $1K plus a month? Apparently none. "Well, you have to trust us." Perhaps I am jaded by my profession. I have a contingent fee legal practice. If I don't win money for my clients I don't get paid! On the other side of the legal profession, if I were to bill hourly I would have to be accountable to my client for what I actually did for that billed time. My experience with the SEO industry is that you guys won't do either.

People here have been nice to me and generous with their comments, and I don't come here to get free advice. But the business model you SEOs have is very unfair to small businesses.
 

Linda Buquet

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Well, OK. You do realize I don't come here for the fun of it, I genuinely need help, right? I will stop.

People here have been nice to me and generous with their comments, and I don't come here to get free advice.

Hi Stan,

I'm sorry if that came out sounding wrong. I do know you genuinely need help and I didn't mean to sound like you should stop or we don't want to help you. Sorry if it sounded that way.

I really was saying it for your benefit, to save you the time and frustration of dealing with all the crazy puzzle pieces Google can throw your way.
 

Tim Colling

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...
I really was saying it for your benefit, to save you the time and frustration of dealing with all the crazy puzzle pieces Google can throw your way.

The advice you gave him was sound, Linda. He would be best served by working with an SEO pro.

And if the seo industry is unfair to small businesses, what should we call the legal system and the impact that IT has on small business and everyone else?
 

standenman

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Do you mean the impact of hundreds of solo lawyers helping their clients with critical legal needs so that their business can thrive, or serve the elderly with elder care services? The "legal system" sir is what protects you and your rights in this country. Always amazed at the lawyer bashers who when they get in trouble rightly go looking for a good lawyer.

Circle the wagons is a typical reaction (and the reason I am gone from this SEO fraternity site), but you have not addressed the truth of my indictment of the way SEOs work. Why are you unwilling to have any "skin in the game" as far as your results, or be accountable for the monthly charges you require?
 

standenman

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Linda, FYI on the dual GMB issue. Since I have gotten no answer here or from the GMB forum, I finally found a number for GMB. After some 30 minutes on the phone with a nice sincere Indian woman so shaky in her English speaking ability I was told to wait for an e-mail on the subject and that Google would be merging the 2 GMBs. The email arrived:

"In order to merge your pages we would request you to delete, Stanley F. Denman, Esq. listing from your account steps on removing an unwanted Google+ page!. " Describing what needs to be done as both "merge" and "delete" makes no sense. Will not be doing anything. If I ran my business the way Google does I would be out of business!
 

Linda Buquet

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Describing what needs to be done as both "merge" and "delete" makes no sense. Will not be doing anything. If I ran my business the way Google does I would be out of business!

Like I said YOU can't delete a listing off of Google. But you CAN delete it from your account. When you do it's still out there live on Google - so yes the listing is still out there and Google can merge it.

There's a complicated issue of sole practitioner, which I believe you are and a practice that has multiple practitioners - the naming convention and how to get there can be quite complicated. But what they told you is one way to do it.

However one consultant just did exactly that for a Dentist. And he said ranking dropped after the 2 were merged, so that was part of why I said I thought you should get a deep dive because who knows what all is going on. You could have a 3rd or even 4th listing, inconsistent NAP or a variety of other things. Happens all the time.

Re being accountable. They are right. NO one can control Google. There is no magic pill and anyone that guarantees ranking I think is likely not a straight shooter.

If I came to you and said can you absolutely guarantee you'll win my case? Maybe in your field things are more cut & dried - but let's say a criminal case. If I said another atty had guaranteed no matter what, he could win the case - without even knowing all the facts - wouldn't you tell me he's full of beans? Can you guarantee you'll win for me? No cuz there are too many variables, extenuating circumstances and the law is not always cut and dried either. But the law is much more cut and dried than Google. In both cases, I think all an ethical professional can guarantee is that they will do the best job possible.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I get the issue with SEO services, the fees, etc. And I certainly understand the trepidation of hiring an SEO company. Hiring a good one is hard.

But, with search engines controlling 90% of the local lead market (90% of people looking for a local service or product use a search engine to find it) the profession has become very lucrative for small businesses who make a good SEO company hire. It's a big risk vs big reward.

Your best bet is to talk to your friends in the profession that are maybe in a different type of law not competing with you or other friends that aren't in the city you are in about who they've hired for SEO. But don't just take their word for it. Look at their rankings too. If they say their company is good and their rankings are good (1st page for all keywords) then you've probably got a good company. But just a heads up, a good company will require a lot of money, probably more than $1,000 a month. But with a good SEO company you will also make much more than that.

Anyways, on your question, do you have another lawyer there besides yourself? If not, you qualify to have both of those listings merged together so when people search, they only see one listing.

When you delete a listing from your dashboard, you're not deleting the listing from Google. You're just deleting it from your control in your dashboard. It will remain on Google.

But in order to merge your listing Google support requires your main listing to be managed by you and the listing you want merged to be "unmanaged" or "unclaimed". That's why they asked you to delete it.

You should be able to email in now and they should take care of it.

Hope that helps!

Also, I don't think Linda was asking you not to come ask for help. I think Linda was saying that anyone trying to do their own SEO is probably at risk of losing money by making mistakes, etc. Kind of like someone trying to represent themselves in court. Neither of which I would recommend :)
 
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