Jun 5, 2014
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Hi everyone,

Just a quick question for anyone that may have come across this.

We have a client that - all other aspects equal - seems to not be ranking locally based on the amount and quality of content on their site. This is the only difference that we can see, along with the fact that the other top competitors are generally more active on social networks.

Nothing wrong with GMB (was created and verified ourselves), site is optimized, citations built, some links built, a few VERY high quality links built - but no movement whatsoever. Also created some social pages with NAP's, verified high quality listings like Yelp, etc.

Could content be an issue? Has anyone else seen this? Maybe the amount of pages on their site or the amount of relevant content? We have also noticed a lot of competitors with many links out to relevant sites on resource pages, and lots of competitors with clear violations of Google Business Page guidelines. Doesn't seem fair!

Just thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone else is experiencing this or if anyone has some quick tips.

The client: Family Lawyer and Divorce Lawyer in Calgary, AB | Shink Family Law
Their GMB page:

Target SERPs

family lawyer calgary - Google Search
family lawyers calgary - Google Search
family law calgary - Google Search



Sep 27, 2012
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some links built, a few VERY high quality links built
This part stands out to me. Are you able to share how these links were "built?" Penguin went after links. Any chance something you were doing to garner links was flagged in one of these updates? Do you see any corresponding traffic dips in Google Analytics around the times these algo updates were rolled out?

I actually have a similar problem with a site that has been established for quite some time, has MUCH better content, design element, structure, interaction and still, for several searches, this crap site outranks it. I cannot figure it out for the life of me. This site that keeps outranking us has only been live for a year whereas our site has been live for several years.

I have not dove deep into the links but we have covered several bases where it's apparent, this competitor site has not.

I would look back through some of your data to see if you notice any traffic fluctuations around the times the algo updates were launched. It is possible you could have over optimized. Although I dont think it's likely, I am still a little leery about the links you built. Earning links through quality content is one thing. Building links, while subjective to some, can become an issue these days.


Apr 16, 2014
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NAP Mis-Match?
The sites NAP:
Shink Family Law 840 396 11th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0C5
Main: (403) 266-4440

SO-law: SO-Law, T2R0C5,Canada, (403) 266-4440,
Different Address: 717 7 Ave SW CALGARY AB | Criminal Defence Online, Lawyers T2P0Z3 |
Savage Oykhman Law: Find It In Canada
Different NA, Same P: DUI Attorney DUI Lawyer Impaired Driving Attorney Impaired Driving Lawyer: ,

I didn't go very deep into my search, but this could be your issue-- especially in Local. I'd start by cleaning some of these up and seeing if it has an impact :)


Jun 5, 2014
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By links I mean roughly 3 on lawyer directory sites or likewise - nothing serious. We don't do link building anymore either. And the high quality link is a profile on that requires fax confirmation of lawyer documents with a link so I can't imagine those affecting anything negatively? Most of our competitors have those types of links. But it's a good point, links are very sketchy these days.

Does the competitor outranking you have exact match URL or keywords within their company name/ GMB page? We have been noticing that have those 2 things are seemingly the one thing helping out really low quality competitors - even if the GMB page company name is violating guidelines, if it has a keyword it ranks. It doesn't seem fair at all, but 1 of those types of businesses rank high in the 7-pack with almost every industry SERP we work in! Makes you wonder.


Thanks!!! I knew he had worked at another lawyer office, but that makes a ton of sense. I feel silly that those didn't stand out to me more!! Thanks a ton. This community is awesome. :)

We are now looking at cleaning those NAP issues up and taking a closer look at our backlinks.


Jun 5, 2014
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Thanks so much HurricaneK8!!! And yes, there are more popping out of the woodwork as we speak... *sigh*


Mar 20, 2014
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I have a couple of clients experiencing exactly what you are talking about. They came to us with small websites. Somewhere in the range of 5-15 webpages indexed. So we had to create some pages and blog posts for them to bump the number of indexed pages to 35.

But in doing so the content on those pages was pretty thin and in the range of 200 words or less. This to me see like one of the reasons whey they are still ranking around the 5-12 organic ranking despite have good on site SEO for the main pages, good citations with consistent NAP.

Here is an example of a website ranking #1 for "Heat Pumps Victoria" despite have no links, very few citations and a new domain which was purchased in the last year.

Heat Pump Victoria BC Specialists in Ductless & Air Source - EcoSmart

It has lots of quality content and that leads me to believe it's where it is.

I know lots of SEO's say the meta keyword tag is useless but I still add them in. I would add them in as it can't hurt.
Dec 3, 2013
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95% of local sites are really thin when it comes to content and that is one of their big weaknesses. Creating the content is one thing, but also regularly updating it is also a good idea if possible.


Mar 14, 2013
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This is more CRO centered but would help with ranking as well...

The first thing I see on that site is text that is only there while an image slider is loading - on my connection there isn't enough time to read the text so I see some adjusting, then I get a photo of what looks like the front door to the Alberta court(?).

That tells me little about what you guys do - I'd consider slapping the visitor in the face with "we are a family law firm - these are the practice areas we handle: divorce, visitation, etc"
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