Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I decided to start sharing here some of the more interesting or complicated support threads I work on over at the Google forum. Figure if I spent a lot of time researching and giving advice on a common problem there, then some folks here may benefit from the information as well.

<a href="!profile/business/APn2wQc9bXj9VwBO8YwHsBO56nuli5CP-wKblAlPyFC0-BqeX3NXG3P5C1vsV9DOE7darPnstwYG/business/aZRHUC2pvfo/N9_uuo3I66YJ">My Local listings position was #1 last week and fell down to #150!</a>

My Local listings position was #1 last week and fell down to #150!

I called Google My Business and they checked and said there was nothing wrong with my listing, no broken links, fetches/crawls show no issues for past 90 days, no penalties according to Google support, just some algorithm change, but they can't explain why the huge drop. They emailed me this site as a resource to investigate. Anyone know what happened?

Here is my 1st reply:

Support does not really deal with or know much about ranking problems. They mainly help with data problems and bugs.

Having said that, they really should have found a major violation that you have. This is complicated, will try to explain.

Dupes always hurt ranking in my opinion. But Google allows Dr. dupes. You are allowed one for each Dr and one for the practice but they still hurt ranking because they compete with each other at the same address with the same phone #.

You have 3 listings. See all 3 here: states/s/(646) 820-1716

2 are listings with your Dr name. It's a violation to have more than one claimed listing for the same business or in this case the same Dr. So I'm guessing that violation knocked you out of the rankings. And again support should have caught it.

So you need to delete one of them from your dashboard.

Then you also have a practice listing which Google allows, but again it still hurts your ranking and splits up your review profile.

There are a couple ways to deal with all this but it depends on your situation. On the site it looks like you are the only Dr. Do you ever plan to add another Dr or associate EVER or are you committed to remaining solo?

This is a very important question and will affect my recommendation.

Let me know and I'll be back when I can. Don't do anything in the meantime OK?

Then the back and forth started and we got to a resolution. Head over to the link above to read the rest.

In a nutshell, I think dupes were the culprit, and the violation of 2 claimed listings for the same Dr. But I didn't have time for a deep dive. Didn't even look at the site, just went for the most obvious problem 1st.

Let us know if you see anything else or have questions about this one.
Aug 7, 2013
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Thanks for these posts Linda. You know, there was a week that one of our sites dropped to about 150 but then popped back in. I took it as a glitch and have not had any issues since.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I may have been wrong on this one. Didn't have time to do a deep dive the 1st time around, now looks like it could be an organic penalty.

Just did more research and added to that thread. But organic penalties are not my thang, so leaving at that.


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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It doesn't look like he has an organic penalty.

Panda and Penguin both check out free from what I can see.

The domain is 5 months old, that's why he's on the 6th page or so for his rankings in the organic.

Sounds like he's been around awhile and switched website domain names? 5 months seems a little too young for his business history. If so, it sounds like maybe he was in a Penguin penalty before or he may have messed up and not 301'd his old domain. If the latter is the case, he needs to make a move quick to get that fixed.
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