More threads by JoyHawkins


Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Aug 23, 2014
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I wanted to post this example here to see if anyone has experienced anything similar recently or if this is just one of those edge cases.

The query is "plumber cincinnati" and you get these results if you search from either "cincinnati, oh" as the location or the zip code 45238. I used Bright Local's tool but also confirmed with someone physically located in this area that they are seeing the same thing.

Here is what I currently get today when I search from 45238. Plumber Cincinnati - 45238.png

When I search from Cincinnati, OH, I get this:
Cincinnati search.png

This change happened on June 8 and obviously the map is super-zoomed-in now in comparison to before. I totally get that the location of the searcher is important and is a big ranking factor but I think this is the first time I've seen a 3-pack full of listings without websites in a very long time.

Here is how the SERPs looked before June 8th:

cincinnati plumber before.png
Plumber cincinnati before.png

Plumber Cincinnati - 45238.png

Cincinnati search.png

cincinnati plumber before.png

Plumber cincinnati before.png
Not sure if same issue you're facing, but we've noticed that the proximity factor has changed the landscape. We're seeing different results at the zip code level. In fact, as I walk around our neighborhood, the local pack results change by block. I know Darren published on this. Will be curious to hear thoughts of others.
Hey Gyi. Thanks for chiming in. It absolutely did and I definitely see a lot of changes since Possum but not quite this extreme. Normally the searcher's location is the strongest of hundreds of factors so the business still *usually* needs some type of SEO presence and normally some type of organic presence.

I have definitely seen cases where listings rank with no organic presence but I'm not sure I've ever seen a 3-pack completely made up of listings without websites.

This also didn't happen until June 8th (or around then). The results before then that I showed in the screenshots made a lot more sense.
I'm seeing it more also. Mine is spotty anecdotal evidence at best though. So take it with a grain of salt :)
I noticed a similar update between June 11th and June 18th.
Here is the June 11th SERP and then the same search term on June 18th Serp The Joint Chiropractic has been in the top spot for a year. The new listing was A; Unverified and didn't have a website. In fact there 5 unverified locations for the same address. 319 Brand Blvd. It appears as though the focus point was shift with the what ever the update was and impacted a lot of map packs.

Here is Dallas
June 11th Serp
June 18th Serp
Could it be a spam tactic to unlink the website before unverifying? Would make the spammer tougher to catch in the act. I guess we'd expect to see spammier business names if that were the case though.
In India, I could still see the same result that Joy noticed before June 8th for "plumber cincinnati". Location of the searched is the strongest ranking factors.

I also looked and tried for two different cities. Here is what I saw, the result for the "plumber in Surat". This 3 pack have two listing for the same business.


Result for "plumber in Vadodara"

For the Vadodara location, they don't have verified GMB page as well as website. 2nd and 3rd have been listed in one of the industry portals. I can't see the Google filtered those result based on the proximity, review or having a website.



Thanks for adding those examples. I actually think you're correct on the date. This plumbing example was one that only had weekly tracking and it looks like June 8 they were okay but it was June 15 that changed so the dates you and I are seeing are the same. I have a few more examples I pulled that changed around the 12-13th.

I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the small reported algo update on the 14th. Could be totally unrelated though.

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