May 17, 2016
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We have a site that has recently gone from showing up in the local 3 pack regularly for "service + city" to showing up much further down the list when you click on "more places".

Im trying to get to the bottom of what could have changed (rather strangely the site has at the a similar time gone up the organic SERP rankings from an average of #6 to #3, from what i can see this is attributable to us compressing images on the site using the google page speed tool and making the page load quicker, there have been no other content, or other site changes with the exception of adding a few portfolio images for about 2 years).

The site in question has a good backlink profile, reporting via open site explorer : 44DA, 53PA, Spam Score 1/17.

Im a bit puzzled as to why the site seems to have dropped down the google local rankings, what would you suggest i do to analyse the problem to see what can be done to rectify it ?

My thought at the moment was to do a citation audit, but apart form that im not sure what else to do.


Oct 15, 2013
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I'd first start with something that I see happen a lot: the NAP data changes. There may be duplicate local citations, or the NAP data on your site doesn't match the local citation data. Oftentimes Google does a local algo update and sees the duplicates or mismatched NAP data and that's what causes the issue.

I'd look at the site and whether or not you have local schema markup on the site. Look at the NAP data there, and run it through Google's schema tool, looking for errors and warnings.

Without more specifics, I can't provide any more info on what may be causing the issue. I do think that a citation audit should be done, though.


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
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I'm not sure I have ever seen citations as the culprit of a ranking drop so I wouldn't focus there.

Did the drop align with any of the recent algorithm changes?

Did organic ranking stay the same?

Do you see competitors outranking you that you didn't see in the list before?

It's really hard to get specific with advice without looking at the situation in detail and knowing the business and keyword.

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