More threads by Margaret Ornsby

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Jul 22, 2013
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Hi all,
I'm beating my head against a brick wall with G local at the moment with a dietitian that has 6 different locations within the same city.
She has separate landing pages for each location, and ranks #1 organic and #1 local for dietitian+location for all but one location.
The problem for me is that because she practices out of doctor's clinics, G has twice decided to confuse her dietitian listing with the listing for the doctor office.
For each of her locations the business name listed is "dietitian company name - doctor's clinic name", and she has a single number for all locations. This number is distinctly different from the doctor clinic number.
Because the offices are small, the street addresses are the same (identical) to the doctor office.

If I search for "doctor practice name" the knowledge-graph comes back with the dietitian's listing. People then call the dietitian because they can't read the screen...;)

I'm confused by the behaviour of combining two business listings together simply because they have the same address. Google has always been able to handle different businesses at the same address. The business names are different from the doctor's and the phone number is different.

This has now happened twice, about six month's apart. So it's not just a temporary glitch...

Renaming the dietitian business name to only her practice didn't stop Google from confusing the two businesses the first time, so I'm not sure whether I should drop the naming convention "dietitian company name - doctor's clinic name".

There are no suites or room numbers in her locations, she's simply using one of the practice offices. So even if I put a fake suite number in there, it's not really the address.

Any suggestions?
Hi Margaret, this is so complicated. Hope it's OK but since you don't mention any names or links, I want to move to public so others can benefit from all the things I'm going to try to share. (Hardly anyone will see it in the private forum.)

Since this is fairly rare and unique (a specialist working inside various Drs offices) I'm going to have to draw parallels to other types of listings in order to try to explain all this.

1) If lets say it was a regular Dr office with 6 Drs we recommend never naming the Dr listings Practice Name: Dr name. Because if they all have practice name in them they are all competing PLUS there is increased chance Google will merge them.

So name needs to be her name.

2) Even with a regular multi-location business, each location needs it's own phone. If all her locations are the same phone, it's a problem.

3) This is almost a situation like a container store. Starbucks within Safeway. That requires setting it up a little differently, but I don't think that's really the solution.

4) She's competing with and will get confused with the Dr listing by the algo I would think.

And it's tricky. Here is how the algo COULD see it. It's against the rules for a business to have different listings for each specialty. For instance a spammy aggressive attorney sets up a different site and phone for BK attorney, Criminal attorney, Divorce attorney. But it's really one business at one location. Not allowed.

How would the algo know this is not the Drs just setting up a separate listing for their dietitian specialty?

5) If all her locations are in same city, they are all just competing with each other and she likely won't rank for all of them anyway.

6) So the algo will get confused on 2 fronts and tend to merge or rank drop due to either the name issue or the phone #s all being the same.

Q: Does she have a main office she works out of? When she is not seeing pts and is just scheduling, doing books, etc, where is she??? I would think best thing might be one listing with service area???
Thanks for replying, Linda. And yes, this is complicated.

I posted this in private initially just in case you wanted to see links. Can provide specifics if you think that will help resolve the issue - let me know and I'll create a new thread there.
I'll go thru the each of the points...

1) She's not the sole practitioner in her business. She is the owner and one of four, all running under the same company name. So each of the locations is hercompanyname - dr clinic name.
EG: her company name - Adept Dietitians. Dr clinic names: Riverside Clinic, Greenvalley Clinic, CityCentre Clinic. All 3 Dr clinics independently run. Her business listings are: Adept Dietitians - Riverside Clinic, Adept Dietitians - Greenvalley Clinic, and Adept Dietitians - CityCentre Clinic. Each clinic is independent and each has one of her part-time dietitians working there. (names have been changed to protect the innocent...)

2) Tried this - individual phone numbers not an option (non-negotiable) for her. I know it's not best practice, but its what I have to work with. This hasn't been a problem up until very recently, but even then, G's not merging her listings together, it's merging hers with the dr clinic which *does* have a local number. G's showing a strange preference there.

3) Yes, sounds very much like a your example of a container store. Perhaps that's the solution? Have I missed something in the training about setting this up differently? Could you point me in the right direction please?

4) Taking this approach, in theory if I simply stripped the clinic name from the Google page - perhaps then Google would get it right? That creates a problem with my citations/directory listings... will have to investigate to see if I can create a workaround.

5) All her locations are indeed in the same "city" but by that I mean metro area. Here, though, we're used to the city centre being called the city and the surrounding suburbs being called by their own name. I don't believe her listings compete with each other because the addresses are specific to the corresponding suburbs. If I search for her listing by cat + suburb, I don't get her other listings in the list until after all other listings in that same cat + suburb. At the moment, all bar one location ranks either first or in top 3 plus usu #1 organic. The one that doesn't yet rank is the most competitive and will take a bit more work, and I think I know what needs to be done.

6) Yes, algo getting confused... I think your comments in #4 are the direction of what's happening. Just never occurred to me to think that way - not devious enough in my thinking yet! :eek:

Sadly, she doesn't have a "main office" she works out of. Challenging. She's not a SAB so I hadn't considered the service area. I also don't like my chances of her showing up in "all" the listings for the suburbs. In large part because she can't afford the cost to do the extra work to get one single listing to rank city-wide.
The city/metro area spans roughly 20 miles, 30 miles, and 35 miles from the city centre in varying directions. In other words, a huge area!

Q If I had just one listing for her business with a service area, how would people know the individual locations? They're looking for a local or nearby professional to go visit. They'll check the knowledge-graph and not click on the website (as is evidenced by the number of calls for the doctor's office she's copping). If there's no address they'll move on to the next listing.

At this stage I'm leaning towards making all the pages the same name (taking the doctor clinics out of it) approach. But I'm curious to know more about the container store.

Thanks again - sometimes working on something for a while makes it hard to see the forest for the trees...
Confused about some stuff still but 1st...

I don't teach about container stores because I've never once had it come up, not even here in the forum. Here is what Google says:

"Some businesses may be located within a mall or a container store, which is a store that contains another business. If your business is within a container store or mall, and you'd like to include this information in the local listing, specify the container store in parentheses in the business name field. For example, Starbucks (inside Safeway)."

But I'm not saying that's the way to go. Just was saying this is almost sort of similar but don't know if it's appropriate for medical.

Confused re locations. You 1st said all same city. Then you said "All her locations are indeed in the same "city" but by that I mean metro area. Here, though, we're used to the city centre being called the city and the surrounding suburbs being called by their own name. I don't believe her listings compete with each other because the addresses are specific to the corresponding suburbs."

Do they all have address in City 1 example? Or are the addresses City 1, City 2, City 3, City 4?

At 1st I thought it sounded like she had offices within other Dr offices she did not own. Now it almost sounds like you are saying those 4 practices are hers too?
Hi Linda,

Oh dear - did not mean to confuse.:eek:

OK, taking your comments on board about containers. Might see if I can do some research about whether it's acceptable to have tenants with their own business inside another business in medical industry (as opposed to coffee shops).

Sorry about the confusion with locations. All locations are in the Melbourne metro area. Large geographic area. Only if your biz/home is in the city centre do you use the "melbourne" as the city. Even if you're just a wee bit away from the city centre, your proper address will be a suburb - eg Prahran, South Yarra, Port Melbourne, Richmond etc, with differing postcodes as well. Yet everyone in these locations are from Melbourne. So her practice offices are "in Melbourne" (as opposed to Sydney or Los Angeles).

You were right at first, she does not own the practices. She rents a room in various doctor clinics. She rents the room under her business name and hires dietitians to man them for her if she does not work there herself. To be clear this is not a practice/practitioner thing going on, clearly a practice only.
OK I get the location issue now.

But I'm sorry I've never run into this type of situation before. We had discussions with Google awhile back about specialists like a podiatrist using his Dr Name - that works in one Dr office 2 days a week and another office 3 days a week. But that's easier because practitioner listings are allowed.

This is a practice within a practice so I'm not sure. I do know though that they should not be dual named with both practice names and ideally each location needs a different number.
Ok. Will change tack... might research the shop within a shop thing too.
One thing you might want to check (if you haven't already) is the listing information on Google Mapmaker. It tends to keep a history of all the names a listing has had in the past, and I've seen that cause a couple of duplication errors before.
Thanks for the comments and feedback.
It's gotten terribly pickled over the last few days - entries merging, now entries completely disappearing. Hopefully that's the G beast updating the records and in time re-creating them...
(patience is a virtue, and I want it now! :p)

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