More threads by Linda Buquet

Ha, I understand now! Where there is a town of the same name elsewhere in the English speaking globe, Google brings them all in! I do recall seeing one or two of these over the last couple of months but just thought it was an anomaly. Clearly Matt needs to give Google a geography lesson - keep at him!

Mind you, it's not surprising. I saw a video on YouTube a few months ago which showed US school children talking geography.

Many believed that Europe was part of the US :p
I saw this. It fixed it self, but I have seen it again recently. Definitely a bug that needs to be fixed. In my professional opinion this particular bug needs to be permanently exterminated. ;)

From what I have seen this occurs when Google confuses a business identity with something that should be a keyword. This is obviously hard to avoid, especially when there are companies that have named themselves "Phoenix Pest Control". They legitimately own that name... does that mean they should have a one box for a GEO term?

The trademark department recognizes the inability to enforce a trademark the uses a city name. It is considered a generic word or name. Google should make adjustments accordingly.
Most of the cases we've surfaced above have been spammy, fake or unreachable businesses that did not deserve a one-box - they were simply KW stuffed fake names and that's often all they had going for them

Here's a post at the Google Business forum that's a good example of what I believe this new algo is "TRYING" to do - show a one-box for a legit brand.

My Google Plus page appears in search results when using zip code in search, but not using the city name in search. Any ideas on how to fix the issue? Seems like a search quality problem/misunderstanding from Google's algorithms.

The query is: urgent care Waltham Ma
The Google gives a one-box to: Waltham Urgent Care Center

I assume that's a legit brand, so the algo is doing what I believe it's designed to do.

However this is a great example of why it's still a bad result.

Seems if someone is searching for Urgent Care + City, it could be an emergent situation where the BEST result would be to show all the providers in the city so the searcher can pick the closest one! Not make it look like there is only one option in town, when there may be others that are faster to get to!

To satisfy the brand searches, what I would do is on that top result say:
Were you searching for "Waltham Urgent Care Center"? And make it look like that top branded one-box looks.

But then still show the 7 pack below in case it was really a generic KW + City search.

Hmmm, but then I guess you could have brands complaining and saying: "when I search for my own business name, Google should not show my competitors too." So damn. Can't win for loosing I guess.
Mike just did another post about this fiasco, citing yet more examples.

Mining for Google Hummingbird Guano in So Cal

You can head over there to read it, but I thought I'd share my comments here as well.

"Since I started reporting on this in August at my forum, that thread has grown to 83 posts, many of the posts have multiple examples. The thread I addressed to Matt Cutts & John Mu over at the Google Webmaster Forum is 33 posts long:
<a href="!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing--ranking/NMh_bk5MXX0">JohnMu & Matt Cutts Important Algo Problem - Gives Spammers a ONE-BOX, Locking SMBs out of Search</a>

We've also started a list we are reporting directly to Google management.

In spite of all the ones we've seen and reported, as I keep telling Google, we only see the tip of the iceberg. I believe there are a thousands more.

Based on results from the <a href="">MozCast Feature Graph</a> one-boxes are on the rise over the past 30 days. So it's not getting better, it's getting worse.

Reminder, if you don't see some examples, its does not always mean they are gone. You have to set location to the search area to see them. Unfortunately that means that's what all the local consumers are seeing.

Google needs to be held accountable for this nasty turn of the algo and clean this guano up now."
Linda: I saw your thread about the one-boxes. I'm surprised google hasn't responded. I suppose unless somebody kicks them in the pants...they might not.

Back in the day I reported a one-box scam to matt cutts and it got addressed by the spam team.

And they should be doing it now.

Here is some experience:

I've had smb's that were the recipients of one boxes and smb's that suffered when a competitor had a onebox. The sites we manage that had oneboxes don't have them now for discovery phrases. There have to be different signals generating them.

Here is the issue. For our smbs we run 24/7 extensive adwords. So I see all the impressions--all the search terms in our fairly large regional adwords campaigns for the smbs.

When we had a onebox and a #1 organic, and a #1 ppc for a discovery phrase (ie city name/service)....we would get something like 75% of every search in that region. 75% THAT IS ENORMOUS Think of it. You are searching for a DUI attorney in LA, or Chicago or any region and ONE firm is getting 75% of all the CALLS.

...and you aren't looking for that law firm by name. You are looking for one good attorney who can handle your problem.

I compare that 75% number for RECOVERY search phrases wherein searchers would use our business name or something very close to it. In those cases we would get something like 80% or more of all the searches/impressions in the region.

One-Boxes simply sweep up all the search traffic for a phrase and drive it to one business. That means that one competitor is in fat city and everyone else is in dire trouble.

The only reason they exist is because Google isn't dealing with them. That is a shame. Maybe worse. It makes Google the single entity that controls commerce.

That is scary. Google should be dealing with this immediately and if not google than a lot of commercial entities should be screaming bloody murder and reporting this to their government officials.

It is an enormous inappropriate twisting of commerce.

It needs to be addressed.
I keep finding these everywhere and continue to report to Google.
Kinda making me sick that honest businesses are losing out and consumers too.

Here are a couple I stumbled on today. (I'm not looking for these, I'm doing other research and just find them, because they are everywhere!)

Google search: Chicago Carpet Cleaning goes to one box and locks out all the other businesses. (Need to set search location to Chicago to see)

Goes to this listing:

ZERO categories on the Place page. Don't think I've ever seen that. So kinda goes to prove the algo is just matching name/domain without regard for relevance.

Also it's at a UPS store. :confused: (Another violation)

This one is for you Joy! Google Search: Los Angeles Insurance Agent
(Need to set search location to LA to see)


Check out the website. Los Angeles Insurance - Car Insurance - Life Insurance - Home Insurance - Auto Insurance - Business Insurance - Boat Insurance - Airplane Insurance - RV Insurance - Jet Insurance - Yacht Insurance - Los Angeles Insurance Quotes

Can you spell SPAM? Plus looks built in 1999 and every link is dead. And many in footer are just spamming other sites the SEO is working on.

Deserves to lock up the whole LA market? Knock all the legit agents out???

If I'm a consumer I'm out of luck cuz the only Ins agent in LA on Google - the phone on the listing does not even work.

Oh and it's Regus too.

So much for teaching best practices to help the honest companies win. So much for warning folks about guideline violations when the scammers get away with fake name KW stuffing and fake locations like this.

Not only do they get away with it. They get rewarded with a ONE BOX and lock all the honest businesses out!

I'm just totally fed up!

Spam pays off in Google Local and is rewarded instead of penalized!

There are a LOT of Dentists in Newport Beach.

Search for: Newport Beach Dentist

The page that locks the rest of Dentists out is spammy. City + KW - City - KW City URL structure.

Title tag spammy too with City & KW repeated 3 times: Newport Beach Dentist | Newport Dental Center | Dentist Newport Beach (home page title tag is same, which is not recommended)

This one came up as a result of a different issue in this thread: New Type of Google Local Rich Snippet?? Video Thumbnail?
More Shitty One-Boxes!

And they are getting WORSE not better! Before it was only EMD sites with EMD Place pages.

Now ANYTHING GOES including Facebook pages and HACKED sites!

FREE Facebook Page Locks Out Every Barber in Town?

<a href=""><img src="" alt="oneboxbarber" width="629" height="349" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-8139" /></a>​

"Huntington Beach Haircuts"
(Reminder need to change search location to the city to see these bad boys!)

Locked every other barber in Huntington Beach out of the pack?
WITH A FACEBOOK PAGE??? Not even a website?

So now to rank #1 and lock ever other business in town out of local, you don't even need to invest in a web site or need good SEO.

Just set up a free Facebook page and monopolize the local results?

The one box for "Huntington Beach Haircuts" is not even an EMD this time. It is: In the Game Barber Shop

And this one is priceless!
HACKED SITE Locks out Every Dentist in Town!

<a href=""><img src="" alt="oneboxDentist" width="622" height="335" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-8140" /></a>​ features a "crappy one box" so EVERY Dentist in Centennial Co is locked out of the pack but that one. (Need to set location to Centennial CO to see one box.)

That site even has a hacked site warning. So why is it #1 much less the ONLY Dentist in town?

Plus I called and it's a different name - the real name is not Centennial Dentist. So the name on the Place page is a fake KW stuffed name.

Plus the site on the Place page is totally different than the hacked site that shows up in the SERPs, so that's a new one on me.


I'm not seeing those results in either case. In both cases I switched locations to the town in question. In both cases I saw a PAC.
Hi Dave,

I checked both yesterday and today before posting with FF & Chrome.

I reported both these over at Google Webmaster in my big post to John Mu and Matt Cutts.

And then when I Tweeted this I pinged Matt too.

So when I saw your post I thought maybe Google fixed these 2. But I just checked again and I'm still seeing packs and so are others. So maybe you are on a different Google server?

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