May 31, 2019
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We're a drug/alcohol rehab. A very competitive space and filled with spam. After a dip in local rankings, I wondered if we should remove some categories.

What we have now:
  • Primary > Addiction treatment center
  • Alcoholism treatment program
  • Rehabilitation center
  • Mental health service
  • Mental health clinic
My questions:
  1. What does Google mean with the "rehabilitation center" category? When I search, it's 50/50 drug rehabs vs injury rehabs. I don't want to miss rehab searches, but could this be hurting us as category spam?
  2. The category "Mental Health Service" is a broad category of our business. We treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. so long as there is also drug/alcohol issues. Would removing this category hurt us on searches with mental health and addiction?
  3. Should we remove "mental health clinic"? Similar to #2, but "clinic" seems a bit less relevant.
  4. Are there any other categories we should be using?
  5. We have 1 facility where alcoholism is the primary instead. It makes sense with our services, but would we take a hit not having all the same? (We are getting outranked for alcohol keywords with other listings that have the main addiction treatment center category anyway).
  6. Do you take a temporary hit when you edit categories? If so, how long should this resolve?

Colan Nielsen

LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 19, 2012
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The only way you're going to know is to test. Try removing a category and measure the impact. If it's a positive impact leave it off. If it has a negative impact add it back and you should recover.

There's definitely such a thing as category confusion. Darren Shaw did a great study on this. On the other hand, from our testing, there doesn't seem to be such a thing as category dilution. In other words, it's okay to have lots of categories even if they overlap, as long as they're actually related to the business.

But again the only way you'll find the answer to your questions is to test.

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