EMP

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My law firm listing appears on first page and on top of google maps for as long as I can remember when you search for "immigration lawyer west covina" or immigration attorney west covina." It also appears on first page and on top 2-3 of maps when you search "immigration lawyer covina" or immigration attorney covina."

Today, I was surprised to find out that my listing became invisible on google maps. If you search my law firm "Law Offices of Eugene M. Palacios" on google, my law firm website "www.palacioslawfirm.com" will appear on search results and map, but if you search for the key words "immigration lawyer west covina," "immigration attorney west covina," "immigration lawyer covina," or immigration attorney covina," my law firm listing will still appear on first page [top of 2nd law firm on list], but does not even show on google maps [invisible].

I never made any recent changes to my website so I am wondering up to now what could have caused for the sudden invisibility of my listing on google maps when you search the key words mentioned above. The only recent change that I made in my office is that I transferred my landline number to cellphone. I am not sure if this is related at all to what happened now to my listing.

Can somebody please give me an advice or idea on why this happened and how I should deal with it? Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
 

JoyHawkins

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Well I can tell you it's not just you. Wednesday night there was a pretty major change/update in the Local Algorithm that seems to have only impacted the 3-pack and local results and not organic.

So far, I found that a bunch of people that got eliminated by the last refresh at the beginning of July just returned.

I have a brand new client that had a major shift in one of his core keywords so I'll be investigating patterns on who moved up and down to see if I can find any patterns.

My initial assumption is that this is a refresh of the local spam filter but I honestly haven't had enough time or examples to be certain since it's only been 24 hours.
 

Linda Buquet

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Joy, from what he explained this is something different.

He said he STILL ranks in the pack, but you don't see him on the map. So not the algo shake-up at play.

I checked and he's right - still #2 in the pack. But on the map that shows in search you don't see his marker and if you search same in maps he does not show.

EMP the reason for that is that Greene is at the same address and his marker is in the same spot so his map marker is on top of yours. Go to a maps search where you are invisible and zoom way in on Greene's map marker. When you get close enough you'll see yours start to show under his.

So you described it right - you are invisible on maps and that's the reason.

Greene shows on maps because he ranks #1 and you are #2. Joy and others can maybe give you some tips on what you can do to try to change that.
 

JoyHawkins

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Maybe I'm seeing something different? I used the Bright Local Tool and set my location to West Covina.

This is what I'm getting. West Covina.jpg

West Covina.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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This is what I get for immigration attorney west covina. Sounds like that's what he sees too.

invisibleOnMaps.jpg

invisibleOnMaps.jpg
 

EMP

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I guess you are both right. in my computer, if I do not zoom in, I do not appear in the map list and on the map itself when your search for the keywords "Immigration Attorney West Covina" although my website ranked 1st among lawyers in the organic search list. If I zoom in close enough, my website starts appearing on the list.

This is what I suspected yesterday and so tried to fix things yesterday by going to mapmaker and moving the marker of my business on the map but I think I just messed things up and the problem remains up to now.

My office is on the 7th floor of the building and the whole floor is an executive suite. I occupy one of the suites while other lawyers and business occupy the other suites. He did not put any suite number and that is why google probably thought that the whole floor belonged to him.

I am not sure if moving the marker will help. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

JoyHawkins

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"
My office is on the 7th floor of the building and the whole floor is an executive suite. I occupy one of the suites while other lawyers and business occupy the other suites. He did not put any suite number and that is why google probably thought that the whole floor belonged to him. "

I have another lawyer who just contacted me today in the same boat and have some theories I'm going to investigate next week to see if Google is starting to filter out businesses that share a common address + business category.

Blake posted this on another thread: Had the same issue with a client. Dropped everywhere. Did a soft edit in the GMB dashboard and rankings were restored within 15 minutes.


Want to give that a try and let me know if it changes anything? A soft edit is basically where you go into your dashboard and hit edit and submit at the bottom but don't actually change anything.
 

EMP

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Does google have an email address that I can use to email them? The template that Google lets people use in Google My Business for reporting problems does not allow long discussion of the problems.
 

EMP

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UPDATE:

I wrote a long email to Google re: the invisibility issue. The customer support rep called and told me 2 things:

1. Making even minor changes to your address and phone number [i.e., changing address format, putting or removing a period or comma, changing "St." to "Street" or "N." to "North," etc. can adversely affect your map listing;

2. He agreed that it may be possible that my map location invisibility was due to the fact that another law office is in same business category and same address [and has not put its actual suite number in its listing, thereby making Google think it occupies the whole floor or building]. However, the rep said there is nothing they can do because the listing of the other attorney has been verified. He said I and other attorneys in same situation should each file complaint before they could escalate the matter. I told him he already has info that he could easily verify over the internet so why does he need more people to complain? He said because the listing of the other attorney has been verified.

It appears that despite the fact that Google has issued guidelines on how businesses should represent themselves online, Google is not willing to enforce them or the rep I talked to was just plain lazy and not willing to do his job. He even mentioned to me that I could sue the attorney. I replied why would I want to do that when it Google's job to implement its own rules.

Google is dealing with peoples' livelihood and yet, when it comes to issues like this, they make the consumer do all the hard work for them just to fix a simple issue.
 

JoyHawkins

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Googlers often can't offer much advice or solution when it comes to ranking issues. The fact that they suggested you sue the attorney is ridiculous. He isn't doing anything intentional to you and the algorithm is what decides who shows and who doesn't. What specific type of law do you specialize in? Is it different than the other attorney?
 
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