More threads by dakotawilliams

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Dec 3, 2018
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Hey there, I work on sites for attorneys and law firms. Earlier this week when our rank trackers ran I noticed that some of our sites saw a huge drop on average in local rankings. When I dove into what was actually going on there was some really inconsistent results it seemed like - terms that were ranking well dropping out of the top-50 altogether, but very similar terms seeing an increase in rankings or a more modest drop in some cases. At first I thought it could be a bug with the tool we use (Bright Local) but since then a few of our clients have reached out about noticing a drop in calls. Here are a few examples of inconsistent results I'm seeing:
  • Keyword: "personal injury lawyer [city, state]"
    • Previous position: 3
    • New position: 2 and in the map pack
  • Keyword: "injury lawyer [city, state]"
    • Previous position: 4
    • New position: outside of top-50 in local finder
Another example for a different law firm in a different market:
  • Keyword: "[city] criminal lawyer"
    • Previous position: 3
    • New position: 3 (no change)
  • Keyword: "[city] criminal lawyers" (plural)
    • Previous position: 3
    • New position: outside of top-50 in local finder
There are other examples as well, but I feel like you probably get the point. Has anyone else noticed anything similar with comparable keywords seeing wildly different changes in ranking positions with no real consistency? I'm wondering if Google is just tweaking things (like trying to encourage more diverse results for similar terms) and maybe things will return to normal, but right now I'm a little unsure of how to assess what's going on.
 
There seems to be weird stuff going on with businesses ranking top-3 way out of their normal range. This neiborghood query (area searched in yellow) has two out of three business in top-3 (blue circles) WAY out of the area, which is extremely abnormal in such a competitive vertical (bathroom remodeling) for a sizeable metro area.
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BrightLocal RankFlux is down for maintenance, but according to Pleper, the last number was 7.9/10, which is conflagration levels of heat.
 

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