Linda Buquet

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Have Doctor, Dentist or Attorney dupes? Read on!
Just sharing a little experiment I did. Sort of a little mini case study.

Don't have time to do a big post with all the back story. Most of you are aware of the issue with practitioner dupes hurting rankings on main practice listing and the fact that Google usually won't remove practitioner dupes any more. If not, see this detailed post.

NOTE TO SEARCH ENGINE LAND READERS 2/17/15 - Andrew linked to this post which is old and just an experiment. Please read the post instead instead which is the main post on the subject.

THIS IS THE MAIN THREAD THAT EXPLAINS HOW TO MINIMIZE DUPES

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-duplicates-merges/864-overcoming-google-practitioner-duplicate-listing-problems-dentists-attorneys.html">Overcoming Practitioner Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Attorneys</a>


So thought I'd share this little story and we'll see how it plays out.

I have an ex-client (Dentist) that I noticed took a drop in rankings and was disconnected in blended.
Still ranks high in organic due to the on-site I did, but dropped out of blended.

Before I started he was #31 organic and not listed in blended for "City Dentist". I got him up #3 blended after the on-site SEO I did. (Which was pretty good considering he's WAY outside the ranking radius for that city.)

(He's in a very large spread out metro area and is as far from city center as you can get. He also has a newer practice so not a ton of citations like the mature practices all over the city.)

Now due to the dupe dropped totally out of blended. :( (He's still #5 organic)

Although he's no longer a client, I do use him in my Local SEO training examples, so wanted to see if I could get him fixed up without having to contact him or charge him to do a bunch of extra work etc.
(Those of you who have taken my Local SEO training, it's the main listing I use in my Automated Local SEO template example.)

So checked into it and sure enough as I suspected it was a dupe that knocked him out of blended.

The dupe was formatted as follows: Typo Practice Name: Dr. Name Backwards. And it linked to site home page. (Just like the practice listing does.)

So I thought in addition to trying to do a quick easy fixer upper for him AND to test the strategy I blogged about (above) I would try a user edit right on the live listing. Partly to test how long user edits are currently taking to go live and partly to see if it fixes this.

As I mentioned in the blog post, I "think" the user edit right on the listing method is best if you just want to minimize the Dr. dupe. Easier than claiming the Dr. listing to change it and safer I think too.


So I just did the edit right on the listing. (Be sure you are NOT logged into the client account that manages that listing.)

I got rid of practice name so Dr listing would not compete with practice NAP and corrected the backwards Dr name. THEN also changed site link from home page to Dr. bio page link.

SO QUICK AND EASY! No verification, no waiting for pin and no screwing around in Map Maker!

LESS THAN 2 DAYS - DONE DEAL!
As I've mentioned before doing user edits on the page is quick and easy, and for me they always get approved in about 2 days which is faster than a lot of dashboard edits. AND easier than doing in MM and having to beg for approvals. :rolleyes:

Then I also noticed Google had changed his cats on the practice listing to bogus categories. So I just did a user edit on that last night and am waiting for the edit to go through.

Fingers crossed next update he'll be back in the blended. Will keep you posted and let you know if this works.
 

Flash

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This is the method of naming I've been promoting for a while, I'm glad you've proved that it works.

FYI - I agree that for non-Map Maker users, the community edits page is much easier. In the end, though, it does go through Map Maker, but without the headaches involved if you don't know Map Maker. You should find the edit in your Map Maker list of edits; and it will be someone within Map Maker that approved it; I'd say 70% of business edits that appear in my review queue come from Maps/Places instead of Map Maker. So it has the same chance and time period as approvals in Map Maker. Thus, if you should find after a week or so that it hasn't gotten approval, you could post it in the Review Request sub-forum at Map Maker, even if you did it through through this method.
 

Linda Buquet

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Little update. Still waiting for the cat change via listing edit.

I had been checking "City Dentist" and he's still disconnected and #5 organic.

BUT he's #2 (blended) for "City Dentists" and 3 for "Dentists City". So no longer disconnected except for "City Dentist".
 
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Linda:

I wish my experience with User Edits was better than what you experienced. I tried doing that with a law firm client and my edits wouldn't go through. I then looked at Map Maker and saw that they were being rejected. I was making the same exact edits you made - name change and website url. I had to claim them all and then make all the changes.

Having said that, I just made another name change for a client via User Edit and it was accepted. I thought this was really strange because I thought making a name change was a big deal (i.e. required verification). This was a complete name change too - not just deleting something from the name. I didn't think it would go through but it did. Go figure.

Travis Van Slooten
 

Marc Simcox

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Linda,

Thank you for this, as I have quite a few that I need to clean up.

Question, what did you put in for comments when you changed the name. I always hesitate with this because I figure they can pick out an SEO or agency a mile away just by wording that we use
 

Linda Buquet

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He Marc, good question and LOVE the sig! :p

Had to go back and ck my notes. In this case there was a typo on the practice name and his Dr. name was backwards. SO those factors could have helped get someone to act on it and correct it. Here is what I put in notes:

"This listing is only for the practitioner. Should be his name only. (BUT his name was backwards.) Practice name was attached BUT it was misspelled. (Was spelled XXXW, should be XXXX, BUT don't want practice name attached as there is already separate practice listing"

Here is what I wrote for the URL change:

"Website is incorrect. Link to practitioner bio page is more relevant."

So I guess one tip is try to make it sound like you are HELPING the user to make listings more relevant OR correcting bad data - not like you are trying to help the business ranking.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Linda,

Thank you for this, as I have quite a few that I need to clean up.

Question, what did you put in for comments when you changed the name. I always hesitate with this because I figure they can pick out an SEO or agency a mile away just by wording that we use

I think this is a really fascinating topic. One thing I have been keeping an eye on is different ways of reporting issues to Google Support. By different ways, I don't mean "edit business details" vs using the troubleshooter, but rather how you word your problem report and how the Google employees respond.

Really interesting stuff and I think mastering how one communicates with Google is half the battle when it comes to getting problems solved.
 

Marc Simcox

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I think this is a really fascinating topic. One thing I have been keeping an eye on is different ways of reporting issues to Google Support. By different ways, I don't mean "edit business details" vs using the troubleshooter, but rather how you word your problem report and how the Google employees respond.

Really interesting stuff and I think mastering how one communicates with Google is half the battle when it comes to getting problems solved.

I agree, I feel that Google can definitely tell when things are worded certain ways that they are not coming from an "uneducated"(on the processes) client and someone who is familiar with whats going on and how to get things done. I also feel that they treat us differently.

Whenever I'm representing the client (through their email or profile) I try to write or respond in a style that would be like they would, rather than someone who is cutting to the chase and knows the lingo. I have felt that I have gotten more/better responses when people think you don't know whats going on.

If Flash reads this, that was not the case when you helped me with a client in Playa Del Carmen... I really didn't know what was going on. HAHA
 

Linda Buquet

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SUCH a great point to make Colan!

One thing I stress early on and say often in my training is "You need to learn to think like Google!" I talk about it more in terms of learning how the algo thinks and how to identify and avoid certain spam patterns AND how to learn what she likes so you can GIVE it to her! :)

But I intuitively do the same thing when I send support requests. I try to view the situation as a support rep (or mapper) might and frame it in a way where they will be able to relate and more likely to follow through with my request.
 

Linda Buquet

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Whenever I'm representing the client (through their email or profile) I try to write or respond in a style that would be like they would, rather than someone who is cutting to the chase and knows the lingo. I have felt that I have gotten more/better responses when people think you don't know whats going on.

Bold underline added by me. Another great point Marc!

If you put yourself in the shoes of a 'worker bee' solving problems all day... I'm sure a request for help from Joe, the owner of Joe's Plumbing worded a certain way is received differently that an a reply from an obvious SEO.

"This guy's NAP is all messed up and he's not going to rank because it's not going to match the trillion citations I just built for him to try to game the system!"

PS not that anyone here would ever say it like that! :p
 
A

Alicia Hardy

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Hi Linda,

I have the same situation except the Practice Name: Last name first name is ranking higher than the practice name only listing that I claimed and optimized. How would you have handled making the edits if the unclaimed dup was ranking higher?

Thanks,
Alicia
 

Linda Buquet

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Alicia, I would do the exact same thing I did as it's the fastest way to try to change it. ESP since name is backwards I think you'll have a good shot. And IF they change it and get practice name and home page link out of there, then I think it SHOULD knock the dr dupe out of the rankings so the practice listing ranks again.

If that does not work then try troubleshooter.
 

Marc Simcox

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Linda,

Alicia's question made me think of something, should we claim the practitioners listing at all? currently I claim them underneath the main client account, but now i'm thinking I should claim the practitioner under either the actual practitioner or one we create specifically for authorship which we manage if the client does not want to deal with that.

Has anyone ever determined if the ranking like Alicia said for the unclaimed practitioner profile ranking higher would be effected by doing this?
 

Linda Buquet

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In most cases I advocate NOT claiming practitioner listings at all. I've seen cases where Google suspends listings that have multiple listings claimed even only one is for practice and rest are legit properly done practitioner listings.

That's why I recommend minimizing them via map edits if you can.

Oops, just realized in the original post I linked to the sister article I wrote, not the main one I meant to link to, so corrected above and here it is again. It explains how.

Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, Attorneys

But as most of you know by now there is no sure thing with Google. Sometimes you do it one way and get a good result, sometimes you do it the same way for another client and Google just changes to whatever she wants anyway. So above are just my best guess suggestions and each situation is different so that's not ALWAYS the best way.

When consultants come to me for consulting and I dig into a specific scenario I often find that due to that particular situation things need to be done differently. There is just seldom a one size fits all approach that works for Google local. The answer is always - it depends on the situation.

In certain fairly rare situations you would need to claim and totally optimize a practitioner listing. But you need to know what cases are appropriate and exactly how to do it right, so it does not derail your main listing.
 

BCLocal

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Thanks for the tips. I'm trying this on a service based business I've been having issues with.

On another note, why does Google hate the service industry? Ha!

Brandon
 

Linda Buquet

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Since Pigeon is hiding dupes now, the whole process has changed.

New info here:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/27104-advanced-tip-google-local-troubleshooting-duplicate-discovery.html">Advanced Tip for Google Local Troubleshooting & Duplicate Discovery</a>
 
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