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Howdy!

I'm aware of "local finder filtering" being a "thing" following a previous thread I started in this forum, and subsequently reading this article Is Your Google My Business Listing Getting Filtered? - Sterling Sky Inc

I've experienced some serious filtering for a client in the last few weeks, for a number of keywords they previously ranked well for, and am a bit of a loss as to what to do.

His market is competitive, being as he's one of approx 10 plastic surgeon using the same premises for his profile.

As I say, until recently there hasn't been an issue but earlier this month his rankings tanked for many keywords of the same theme (in this instance female breast surgery searches).

What makes this scenario particularly bizarre is that we changed his primary category to be different from all the competitors at this location. One action I'm toying with is changing it back to match the others, but am reluctant to do this as I think we've had successes making the change (until now!).

What's also odd is that his analytics and enquiry data suggests there's not a major issue. He's had a few less enquiries for the searches that have dropped, but is still getting a few.

Just for the record I'm tracking in multiple locations around where he's situated.

And finally, when I scroll OUT on the local finder I see his listing well placed, rather than scroll in (which was suggested in the aforementioned article).

So there's some sort of filtering going on I'm sure.

Can anyone suggest anything I can try to reverse this, other than changing the Primary Category as I'm planning to.

I don't think he'll be keen to move his location to somewhere else he holds clinics and operates, but that's also something on the table.

I'm happy to share some specifics outside of this forum if anyone has time/is interested to delve deeper.

Thanks as ever.
 

JoyHawkins

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What makes this scenario particularly bizarre is that we changed his primary category to be different from all the competitors at this location. One action I'm toying with is changing it back to match the others, but am reluctant to do this as I think we've had successes making the change (until now!).

It sounds like you changed the category to one that doesn't correlate with the search term. If all the competitors are using the same category for a particular query, that's the category you need to rank for that term (generally speaking). So I would suggest switching it back - it's likely what's decreasing your relevance and causing you to get filtered.
 
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It sounds like you changed the category to one that doesn't correlate with the search term. If all the competitors are using the same category for a particular query, that's the category you need to rank for that term (generally speaking). So I would suggest switching it back - it's likely what's decreasing your relevance and causing you to get filtered.
Thanks Joy. I think I'll change it back next, nothing to lose I guess. I suspect it is something else though, or possibly a combination of things as we changed the primary category back in May, so this is a very delayed reaction. Also the two categories I switched - plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon - are so similar, it would seem they'd be interchangeable. Perhaps not in Google's eyes! Thanks again.
 

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