More threads by JasonKhoo

Sep 14, 2018
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Hi Guys,

I have encountered a very interesting issue with Google Maps. Hoping someone can lead me to the right person or contact to go to.

One of my clients is located in the city of Katy, TX and their address has the city in their name.

However, when you look at the map of Katy their actual business location is located outside of the city. I've inserted the map below and added a location marker of where the location of my client's business is.

Map of Katy.png

I asked the client if there was ANY chance they got their address wrong and that maybe they are apart of Cinco Ranch, however, they said no, they've had Katy in their address.

The plot thickens a little bit, I decided to look into Google Maps and see if maybe the business was actually in a different city's boundaries. So the two bordering cities are Cinco Ranch and Houston.

Cinco Ranch
Cinco Ranch.jpg

Map of Houston.jpg

I know the images are a little big, but if you look at the red location marker, the business is supposedly "Katy", yet it isn't in Cinco Ranch and isn't in Houston. It literally fills a space where the two city boundaries almost meet.

My concerns are that for rank tracking on Google Local our rankings aren't good and that is probably because we are so far off from the centroid of Katy, and looking at the map, outside it's limits! Our organic rankings are pretty strong, but local not performing at the same level.

Has anyone ever encountered something like this?
@JasonKhoo, you'll want to see what city / town / census-designated place your client's ZIP code resolves to: USPS - Find a ZIP Code

You may also look at neighboring business, to see where Google says they sit.

I've had weird cases like this one, where the client's address is in a Bermuda Triangle. Just be as consistent as possible in the address you use on listings.

Depending on the search terms you care about and on searchers' locations (relative to your client's location), it may not even matter much.
My concerns are that for rank tracking on Google Local our rankings aren't good and that is probably because we are so far off from the centroid of Katy

If the rank tracker is using the city center to measure from, it may be recording lower rankings only because of the distance between the measuring point and the business location.
@Phil Rozek thanks for the tip! I looked it up and the USPS tool said Katy, so at least I know that we have the right city. I was thinking that for being outside the city boundaries it was having a large impact on the rankings, but I think what I need to do is just a full scale evaluation before I jump to conclusion.

The client generally falls on the first page, usually 5th or 6th organically and we're trying to get over the hump to at least top 3 spots. I think I'm going to go in and evaluate our competitors and see if where competitors are located is having any effect before I jump to that conclusion. I know we have way higher domain authority and more content, but i think i need to lay it all out to get a better idea to jump to the conclusion that it's solely this factor causing a problem.

@Yan Gilbert correct. I need to go back in and run a Local Falcon report to get an evaluation.

Thanks guys!
1) How old is the GMB page? If it is young, that is likely the culprit.

2) Do you have any Google reviews? How many do you have compared to your competition?

3) Can you show us a search results page on the map so we can see where you are located vs your competitors?

1. I started working with this client about a year and a half ago. They already had one created so I would say it isn't a relatively new page. Not sure how to see when the page was exactly created.

2. This may be a culprit. When I looked into this didn't realize our reviews spread is so large (face palm - can't believe I overlooked this) They only have 14 reviews. The average reviews are 90.4 reviews and we have 14.

3. I've attached a screenshot of the map. I've hidden names for privacy purposes.
Without knowing the search query, I'm shooting in the dark here.

GMB page, if it's over a year and a half, shouldn't be an issue.

Reviews could be considering how much more your competitors have according to what you said.

I don't think your location is the issue. You're in the city and some of the others showing up look like they're further away from the centroid than you are.

Where do you rank on map pack vs organically?

What industry is this?
Hey @JoshuaMackens

Organically we rank first page, usually 4th or 5th organically.

On maps we average anywhere 10 - 15 (so not close to the top 3).

It's in the dental field! I know that there is limited data so appreciate the help. One thing the site does have is our domain rating and url rating is much higher than our competitors, 35 DR and the competitors who rank above us have an average domain rating of 10.

What I think can be a factor is also when we acquired the site, the business had a large library of content, but we've figured out the content is boiler plate content and duplicates do exist across the web. After reviewing the data and rankings, I noticed we saw a slight decrease in rankings in the last week, which may be correlated with the most recent algorithm update.

The content has always been a lingering factor that I thought may be a factor.

For the basis of this thread though, I think trying to deduce if its a local issue is really helpful

Jason Khoo
I'm not sure what metric DR is (ahrefs?) but I wouldn't rely on those but very loosely.

I'd say its got to be the reviews then honestly. You've done the business listings?

Also, getting top the top organically wouldn't be a bad idea either. It can only help.

Have you run a LocalFalcon search?
Yes, DR is Domain Rating from Ahrefs.

Yeah, it may be the reviews. And yes local listings are taken care of.

I've pulled Local Falcon searches and it's not great. They do appear in the local pack relatively close to their location, but when compared to other clients, it's not a great showing.

I can't find a screenshot, but I'll run a search and update on the thread.

I think from all this discussion, I'm thinking that it may be a combination of getting rid of duplicate content on the site and also work on those reviews. The client has had major difficulty getting reviews.
Dentists are crazy hyper-local so I rarely (if ever) see Dentist ranking outside their immediate area. If they aren't located in the particular city it will definitely hurt their local rankings for [dentist + city] but they should still rank fine for stuff like "dentist" or "dentist near me" if you're scanning near their area (use the Local Falcon for this).

I run into situations like this quite often where the address is actually right outside of city borders and doesn't really fall into any city. You can tell what city Google thinks they're in by looking in the Knowledge Panel right below the map.

@JoyHawkins Wow, great tip! I just did a search and this is what I found for the city

Guess this means that Google is treating us as Harris County??


I've run a local falcon search and this is what we are seeing.

Geo modified term pediatric term [kids dentist in Katy]

Non Geo Modified term [pediatric dentist]

We typically do much better organically and google maps wise on non geo modified terms. for the geo modified, it's pitiful.

Also, after the last update, we saw a drop across the board. Still on first page organically, but drops nonetheless. Will be joining the other topic to add some insight.
@JasonKhoo - only use the Local Falcon for non-geo modified searches. For the others, it's not accurate (it doesn't factor in proximity) so you should use this extension to change your location and search on your computer using an incognito tab.

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