More threads by Marc


Aug 9, 2012
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Linda - hi there! we greatly appreciate your leadership. this is in response to my email to you today. a new main client custom city name & service driven domain site was on page 3 heading up. Lake Mary Barber Shop | Mens Haircut and Shave Club
now it's not even in the top 50 PAGES! :confused: help! our video campaign is working well with 2 page 1 and 2 page 2 video rankings. but the client's online manager asked us a couple weeks ago to make a lot of changes to tags, descriptions, and IMAGE text, etc. nothing spammy at least to us

1. main key words - lake mary barber shop; lake mary barber club
2. do you all see something we did?
3. what steps should we take to understand why this might have happened?
4. we'll look at web master tools

this is very very frustrating - to say the least!

thx again
Hi Marc,

Started researching and my PC locked up so need to start over.

This client has a LOT of issues affecting ranking.

Ranking in Google Local is like a giant extremely complex PUZZLE. To a large degree whoever has the most important puzzle pieces, all lined up in the right places WINS and gets to rank on top in Google. This one has missing pieces, bad pieces, broken pieces, pieces in the wrong places, etc.

It is going to take a lot of time to explain them all. I have some client cases and other projects that I need to take care of 1st, so I'll work this in when I can. Tomorrow with any luck.

Due to carpal probs I may try to record a vid to show/explain all the issues. But wanting to try to force myself to start doing vids, so this may be a good time.

Will get back with you when I can.

In the meantime if anyone else wants to jump in with advice, please do.
(But we typically don't have many folks popping in here during the weekend.)
Hi Marc,

Well, I'd love to watch Linda's video, too (go Linda!!!). In the meantime, this popped out at me immediately. From California, I searched for 'lake mary barbara shop' and I see you in the A position...but not for your listed domain name (, for

lake mary barber shop - Google Search

At first, I assumed that you were redirecting one domain name to the other, but now I see you've actually got two totally different websites for what appears to be a franchise? Is this correct? Visiting the Locations page on the site, I see the Lake Mary business listed among about 10 others.

I think it would help if you explained what the plan was here with the two different websites. Do you, in fact, have a different website for each of the franchise locations, as well as a corporate site?

The fact that my search is bringing up your presumed corporate site rather than the individual site for Lake Mary is suggestive of quite a few problems. For my search, at least, Google is associating your + page with your corporate site rather than your city-landing-page site. Are you seeing this when you search from Lake Mary as well?

Setting my locations to 'Lake Mary' and searching for 'Barber Shop' only, I am again seeing you in the A position, but again, this is for your corporate site rather than your city site:


At a glance, it definitely looks like Google has decided your corporate site is the real deal and that the city site is immaterial.

Notice you're not putting your complete NAP in the footer of your Lake Mary site, though it is on the contact page.

These are just a few things I've noticed. I hope Linda will appear with more thoughts on this soon.
Thanks Miriam. You found some of the things I did.

One thing I wasn't clear on Marc. It sounds like you are just talking about the site dropping. Are you only doing their on-site SEO or also their G+ Local too? Because on local sites both have to work together in unison and be done right.

Not sure how new you are to G+ Local optimization, but I liken the algo to a kindergarten child playing a match game. You have to be very specific and make it really easy for her to match things up or she gets confused. The data has to perfectly match up.

I like to think of the G+ Local page as the foundation so that's where I start research. So I went to, got the phone # and searched maps for G+L. NONE!

So went to contact us and clicked the map. It takes me here:
Kennedys Barber Club Heathrow - About - Google+
And there are multiple problems.

1st of all there is NO Nap on the site you are trying to rank. (As Miriam noticed too.) Except contact us. Then on contact us it links to a G+ listing with DIFFERENT name, DIFFERENT phone, DIFFERENT site. So nothing matches and now the game is thrown. Additionally...

1) The name on that G+L page is a serious violation that could get client suspended on 2 levels. A) I Don't think "Kennedy's Barber Club" is the legal name - but hard to tell because client is not consistent with branding and uses different names all over the site BUT it does not match ANY of the names on YOUR site. B) BIGGEST Problem: Adding a geo modifier to name on the G+L page as in "Heathrow" is the #1 reason listings get suspended. C) On top of all that using a fake incorrect name, kills all the citations this business likely has for the REAL name.

2) The phone on G+L is different than the phone on the site you are trying to rank.

3) The G+ Local page links to a different site - the corporate site Miriam mentioned. (So YOUR site links to G+L which links to a different site. And nothing is matching up. Now G is really confused.)

4) It appears you are trying to rank by PRETENDING the name is "Lake Mary Barber Shop & Club" when the name is really Kennedy's All-American Barber Club.

So everything is all mismatched and mixed up and I'm not clear about what they are trying to achieve here.

The way you rank high is to use your REAL name on your site AND have it match on your G+ page. Have the phone and address match on both. And the G+ properly link to the right site. And have all your citations aligned as well. The Corp site and the G+L page are connected. And it's working THEY ARE #1. (But they still have problems and violations and the name isn't right.)

But it's like you have this 2nd site, with a made up name and different phone and expect it to rank? Google is likely not going to rank 2 sites for the name company on page one. It's going to rank the one with the most correct data (and the most puzzle pieces in the right places.) And that's the CORP site that links up to the G+L page.

Here is how the Google algo is going to look at it.

Name/phone: Lake Mary Barber Shop & Club - (407) 901-3414
(The fake name and the phone on the site you are trying to rank.)

Name/Phone Citations
"Lake Mary Barber Shop & Club" "(407) 901-3414"
955 - Mainly just your videos
G+ Local page = NONE


Name/phone: Kennedy's All-American Barber Club (407) 333-9411

Name/Phone Citations
"Kennedy's All-American Barber Club" "(407) 333-9411"
5,060 - Including all the yellow pages, Yelp, Facebook, lots of major authority sites.
G+ Local page = YES

The Google local algo is based on location trust, which requires having everything match up so Google can connect the dots. If you were the algo, which business name, phone and web site would you have more trust in and think was most legit?

So what's up with the 2nd site? From what I can see it's not a great strategy. Seems they should have a Lake Mary page or section of the corp site and it would be better than trying to rank a separate site that has a fake name and different phone than all their citations do. They'd be SO much further ahead putting all their energy into the corp site (which is already ranking) and fixing the problems with the G+L page instead of diverting their energy to a separate site I would think.

What is the goal? What are they trying to achieve? Were they just trying to get 2 sites to rank on page one? They would just be competing with each other. Local is based on physical locations. There is only one business here and likely only 1 site is going to rank.

Many companies have a "divide and conquer" stratey thinking they can dominate the SERPs. IMO, with G local a "united we stand" effort with lots of NAP consistency sprinkled on top, usually wins the game.

That's my 2 cents right now anyway, but it's late - I'm tired.

Anyone have anything else to add?
Hi Linda,
I don't have anything further to add (you've uncovered so many problems) but I did want to ask what citation checker you use to get the above numbers in red. Would love to know!
Sorry Miriam, that's one of those things you do every day and just don't think to stop and explain.
(I teach all this stuff verbally but don't always remember to explain it each time I mention something BUT this is something I should explain.)

FULL citation: I consider to be "Name" "address" "phone" each in quotes, with space.

BUT in the case above I'm taking address out of the loop because there could be numerous address formatting variations. AND both listings are at the same address. So I'm isolating name/phone combos, to see which Google would most likely think is correct.

So name + phone is a partial citation and all I'm doing is trying to flush out in Google how many matches there are for each combo of Name/phone.

So no tool. That's just a Google search for: "Kennedy's All-American Barber Club" "(407) 333-9411" to see how many matches the algo would find if looking for core data (name/phone) to match the NAP on that G+L page.

NOTE: I teach doing the exact type of research if there was only 1 main phone # but you were trying to determine which version of NAME was correct. So for instance if G+ Page was "Kennedy's Barber Club" but header logo was "Kennedy's All-American Barber Club" and footer was "Kennedy's All-American Inc" and you were trying to figure out which name was correct/best. Part of that research is finding how many matches in Google, However the other important part is asking client in the client data worksheet "What is your legal name" "What is your DBA" types of questions.
Linda - thx so very much...our plan was to develop & optimize the lead capture site which is the link I shared. it is video driven. we have nothing to do with the corporate site, or their google + account. these folks are web savvy and gave several businesses. in the past we've been able to get fairly good rankings for the lead capture campaign for other clients, even at times using a 2nd address in the downtown area so we can get a 2nd google places account..

let me respond further in a while - having to fix other issues with the site..

frankly, my wife and I have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with the data changes and volumne and effort. our financial resources as I described are nil at this time. we're so grateful for your help!
Linda, Miriam and colleagues,
Here?s the background and questions to fix this:

  1. My wife and I had a business consulting practice to small family bizs for 15 years until it stopped in 07. We needed to reinvent ourselves to stay alive. We older in our 60?s but work very hard.
  2. We began a couple years ago using the traffic geyser model with lead capture sites (ala the lake mary model), and multiple video and media submission. It didn't work very well with TG and their system. It?s overwhelming to us all the moving parts and the rapid change, and still have some sort of life. We don?t know what we don?t know.
  3. We got pretty good results until this year with new google changes. If a client did not have a store front, we secured 2nd address through an executive suite location like a second biz. The videos always optimize well. Most clients have a 2nd phone which monitors the calls coming in, thus the 2nd phone.
  4. We have no input into Kennedys main site, or the G+ acct, other review sites, and You tube channel associated with it. They manage this in-house. I think we can get input and help if a new strategy were accepted by them.
  5. They have asked help with a strategy with G+ circles, although that was not a part of our agreement, and due to work & family schedules and learning curve, we passed.
  6. The lead capture site, the 2nd site, according to your comments, appears to now be a past strategy. We would need NAP and G+ tied to the 2nd site to make it work. Obviously, this will not work now.
  7. We have a full you tube channel for the 2nd site that holds all the videos, as well as other video sites in this domain name for posting and optimization.
  8. We are helping them with a new review accelerator system from us with healthy incentives in the store. They really want many more reviews across the board, and their clientele are men, who mostly hate to give reviews.
  9. The client has a /lake mary domain extension in the main site with minimal info.
  10. They have paid us a fair amount of $ and are frustrated with the results so far, as we are. Few if any calls have come in off the videos in the last 3 months.
  11. What now? a) Do we offer to help build their main site domain extension with our campaign info and videos? b) offer free g+ circle advice? c) build the review system? d) change our You tube channel to optimize the /lake mary main site domain extension? e) offer a free 2x monthly blog service that posts on the main site domain extension /lake mary f) other add ins? g) phase out the lead capture site, and phone number? h) redirect the lead capture site domain to the main site?
Thx again for the help and wisdom?we greatly appreciate it and are grateful.
Hi Marc,

Thanks for the background info. Since we didn't understand the strategy and how the site you are trying to rank - fits into the big picture - I'm afraid I may have wasted a lot of time researching aspects of their overall marketing strategy that didn?t even pertain to what you are trying to do.

But still what I shared is valid and helps paint a picture of what Google likely is looking at - when it tries to rank these sites. (Just wish I had not wasted all that time on the main site and G+ just assumed you were doing all their marketing.)

So bottom line is, it's not that you can't get a 2nd site to rank organically. You can... It's just that what my strength is and what I know is more of a holistic approach to getting the main site and G+L page working together for top rankings. So that's what my research and recommendations were about.

What you are doing, is not something I deal with, so not sure I have any big words of wisdom to share. I just think the way the local algo works these days it's going to be harder to get a 2nd site ranking for a client in pure organic.

AND being somewhat of a PURIST when it comes to G+ Local, I don't advocate at all breaking the rules and setting up fake or virtual 2nd locations. So not sure how much more help I can offer.

If I had all the time in the world I'm sure I could think about your situation some more and come up with some alternative ideas, but again this is really a little outside the standard G+ local SEO I normally am involved in. And I'm just slammed helping everyone both here and at the G forum with all the 'standard' G+L problems.

Sorry I could not be more help.
Anyone else have any ideas for Marc?
Linda - thx so very much for all you've done to help! it's a very loving gesture..let me know if we can help you with advice in your video development. :)

question: if you do all marketing for a client, how do you track their new traffic and effectiveness for ROI value vs. fees paid?
I don't work directly with SMBs any more but when I worked with Dentists, the goal was improving rankings and overall visibility, so occasionally I provided ranking reports but they could also just see themselves the improvement. And I'd just shoot them a YAY you're #1 email now and then, when new keywords started to rank. Occasionally I would send a stats report from Google Places and do a comparison of impressions/actions before and after my service started.

I never did any other types of tracking. Was very informal in that regard, but never had any requests for more in-depth tracking and most clients seemed happy.

But I was kind of in a unique situation since all clients came to me pretty much pre-sold on my services. It's a lot different I think if you are out pounding the pavement, trying to sell your services and then having to constantly prove your worth.

But I'm sure other pros here may have more to say about tracking and do it more than I did. Hopefully some will see your post and weigh in.

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