djbaxter

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4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Ranking (and 3 That Don't)
Whiteboard Friday: Moz
Oct 23, 2020

With so many customization options in your Google My Business profile, it can be tough to decide what to focus on. But when it comes to ranking on the SERP, there are actually only four GMB fields that influence where your business will land.

In this brand new Whiteboard Friday, MozCon speaker and owner/founder of Sterling Sky, @JoyHawkins, takes us through the fields she and her team has found do (and do not) effect rankings.

Watch the video:


Read more, including transcript...
 

Contractor

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Great video!

I didn’t realize how important the categories field was. Is there anything we should be looking out for as to not do?
 

Eoghan_MFeed

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Is this rank analysis typically done under the business's top 3-4 keywords?

Any thoughts on GMB attributes and their impact? I have to think they help from a long tail search perspective but wonder if they help out under the core keywords too.

These days, if you're looking after your COVID related attributes, I would also bet Google looks at that favorably as it's highly sought after information by users.
 

Theo1313

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Just a quick warning tale. After watching this great whiteboard Friday over the weekend, I updated a category in our GMB. I added the "Water Softening" category and less than a minute later our GMB got suspended. I must assume it was due to the industry we operate in (HVAC/Home Services) and the number of categories. We had 8 total but it seems adding 9 was too much. Even though our business offers more than that.

I went through the steps to get it reviewed and Joy was kind enough to offer her help and support (even after I kind of freaked out). After a couple days, our GMB is back up and running.

It was quite the experience, to say the least. I have been in internet marketing since 1998 and have lived through it all but not much compared to the fear this situation invoked. Like most of us, we get a sizable chunk of traffic and leads from our GMB. In just a couple of days I guesstimated we potentially lost around $30K in business leads. Another side effect was we saw a huge jump in spending for our Google ads Brand campaign -- which more people clicked on due to our knowledge panel listing not being there.

In summary, it sucked.

A big thanks to @JoyHawkins again for her support and all that she does in the local community.
 

JoyHawkins

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Suspensions are on the rise right now thanks to all the fake listings that are being generated. The HVAC vertical is one of the worst for this for sure. In the past, I've seen listings get suspended when a bunch of fields are updated at once (ex: you change the business name + category). Looks like this might be getting more sensitive if simply adding a category can trigger it too :confused:
 

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That would explain it. But yeah, all I did was add a category, nothing else. I normally review and tweak the Services section and such in GMB but neglected the categories section for a while -- your whiteboard sparked me into looking to see if there were new categories. I saw one and added it, bam, suspended. I changed nothing else.

I always knew our HVAC space was one of those verticals to be extra careful with -- this is something I take to heart. Everything our company and I do is based on knowing how sensitive our industry is. So I do everything by the book, clean, and honest. 100% white hat. The last thing I want to do is risk getting our business lumped into the "shady" category. This is why the suspension was such a shocker. Like a punch in the gut!

Anyway, I just wanted to share my tale in case it might do someone else some good... (and to praise thanks to Joy).
 

seoservices

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Excellent summary @JoyHawkins! Thanks for everything. You nailed it, as usual. Until Nov. 2019, I always felt the "service areas" had an effect on broader rankings, as well, but since GMB limited to 20 service areas, it seems as though Google doesn't even prioritize your primary service area if you select more than one.

Anyone have insight on how to best use "Service Area"? Should we just select primary city--to ensure it is primary, or is it better to select 20 knowing that the primary city may be randomized?
 

JoyHawkins

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Anyone have insight on how to best use "Service Area"? Should we just select primary city--to ensure it is primary, or is it better to select 20 knowing that the primary city may be randomized?
I usually just go with cities. Not sure it matters much whatsoever.
 
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We noticed that we could opt in for “Black owner business badge”, and so we did.

2 days later our listing along with hundreds of reviews over the years was suspended.

this was on Sept 28th, took GMB support 25 days to respond to the appeal. And their response was “you deleted your listing”. And then they closed our case.

so this week we submitted another re-instatement request.
We’re assuming that we’ll be out of business by the time they respond on thanksgiving at this point.
 

JoyHawkins

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@BrooklynHipster

That sounds terrible. Can you post a thread on the GMB forum and DM me the link to the thread? I'd be happy to send it to Google for you. Please include

1. Your business name & address
2. The case ID for the reinstatement request (should be in the subject line of the email from Google, if you received one).
3. A link to where Google can see the business is real (Secretary of State, BBB etc)
 
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Ethical Frenchie 17 State Street, FL 40, NYC
ethicalfrenchie.com


After a month ( est October 20th? we simply made a new listing) and even that one was suspended after a week due to "suspicious activity" instead of "quality issues" like the first one.

So now our address may simply be flagged.
we weren't trying to subvert the system, we simply got tired of waiting for a response to our appeal. After losing so much business we decided to simply "make a new GMB profile" as we couldn't hold out any longer/

It appears our only recourse is to move locations and try again.

So there are 2 case ID's now. One for the original listing [1-4989000031006]
and one for the new listing for the same address that we made after a month of no response. [4-1348000030460]

we would rather have the original listing back as it demonstrates that we've been around longer. I realize that making a completely new listing a month later at the same address had the potential to be removed again however I panicked. I don't understand how they can "hold a business hostage" with no details or excuse.
 
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Just a quick warning tale. After watching this great whiteboard Friday over the weekend, I updated a category in our GMB. I added the "Water Softening" category and less than a minute later our GMB got suspended. I must assume it was due to the industry we operate in (HVAC/Home Services) and the number of categories. We had 8 total but it seems adding 9 was too much. Even though our business offers more than that.

I went through the steps to get it reviewed and Joy was kind enough to offer her help and support (even after I kind of freaked out). After a couple days, our GMB is back up and running.

It was quite the experience, to say the least. I have been in internet marketing since 1998 and have lived through it all but not much compared to the fear this situation invoked. Like most of us, we get a sizable chunk of traffic and leads from our GMB. In just a couple of days I guesstimated we potentially lost around $30K in business leads. Another side effect was we saw a huge jump in spending for our Google ads Brand campaign -- which more people clicked on due to our knowledge panel listing not being there.

In summary, it sucked.

A big thanks to @JoyHawkins again for her support and all that she does in the local community.
Thanks for posting this. We also have seen quite a bit of suspensions when making simple changes. To take it a bit further, we noticed that after we appeal and we get a listing un suspended, we are needing to reverify the address. Then as soon as the pin is entered, the listings are getting immediately suspended again. Some 2 -3 times. Very frustrated.
 
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We finally got a response!
It appears my business was held hostage due to our "Description"???

Google FINALLY responded.
Hello,
Thank you for contacting Google My Business team.
We have reviewed your request and found your Google My Business listing to be in violation of the Google My Business guidelines. The “From the business” description used in your listing is not in compliance with our Google My Business Guidelines due to which your listing has been suspended.
Please edit your listing to comply with our policies, and submit it for review. Your listing’s suspension will be lifted if it’s in compliance with our policies.

?? WTF ??

Our description is below.

We are a family of french bulldog breeders with a focus on health, temperament and making sure your new puppy matches your family 100%. We produce standard and blue french bulldog puppies.. Our adults go through extensive vet exams and genetic testing before breeding and are clear of CMR1, DM, HUU and JHC. We occasionally connect with other small breeders that they share the same vision and allow us to find a stable forever home for their puppies.
 
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