Todd McCall

I'm a little tangled up in trying to resolve some issues with multiple listings that we have in Google+ Local. My guess is that the answer to this question is a whole lot clearer to a seasoned local SEO than it is to me.

We have a law firm with an office that had been in the local results for its city reliably for quite a while, and the firm was able to generate some great, legitimate reviews for its Google+ listing.

Seemingly out of the blue, the firm's listing disappeared from the local results and was soon replaced by a listing for the main lawyer of the firm. I don't think we did anything to make this happen, and it was strange as the firm's listing was complete with good reviews, pics, info and pretty NAP consistent citations.

The lawyer's listing doesn't have any of that, but there it remains in local results, months later. The firm's listing is still off the radar, and we've gotten some advice saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' concerning the lawyer's listing being in there.

With that mouthful out of the way, here's my questions:

  • If we're comfortable with leaving it as is, should we being doing citation creation & clean up for this individual lawyer's listing? Or at least get enough reviews on there to get some stars in the SERPs?
  • Is it kosher to reach out to some of our more enthusiastic clients who left a review on the firm's listing to also leave a review on this lawyer's listing?

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Hi Todd,

Did you follow us over from the webinar? Thanks for posting!

That's what we call a practitioner dupe and what you are experiencing is more common than you realize. In fact since the Pigeon algo hit on July 24th I'm seeing practitioners bump the main practice listing out of the pack quite often. And many times the 2 will just keep trading places, jumping in and out of the pack.

I developed a strategy for dealing with this problem a couple years again and it's still best practice today. All the consultants that have tried it tell me it works well.

And I showed to Google and they agreed the strategy makes sense.

Google will no longer remove practitioner listings and it can cause ranking problems as well as reviews problems. Ranking problems include the Dr listing replacing the practice in the pack OR just locking the practice out and none if them rank.

<a href= "http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/google-places-duplicate-listing-dentists-doctors.html">Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, Attorneys</a>

So that should answer your bullets.

And no for sure on the reviews. 1) It could get your reviews flagged or deleted on the practice listing if the review spam algo picks up on it. 2) You want to minimize that listing and make it less important. Reviews would give it more weight.

Now having said all that, there is also the possibility the practice listing is penalized.
If you want us to take a look please post the link.

Please reply back once you do it and then again once the issue clears up, so we can track how long it takes.

Todd McCall

That was very helpful, thanks.

We'll give it a shot after I've thought it through a little and let you know how it goes.
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