More threads by Jerem


Apr 9, 2017
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I'm doing local SEO for a dentist and the "business name" is her own name. So basically, it looks like "First name + Last name".

The problem I'm facing is that her competitors in the local map pack are using "First name + Last name + Dentist".

I'm not afraid of "name spam listing". I believe I can beat it given the low competition in this city. However, what scared me is the expected CTR if I can get my client in the local map pack.

Please have a look on this scenario. Imagine you're on hurry and you're looking for a dentist. Which one would you choose (let's say also they have the same average reviews) ?

1- Dentist - Dr X (Competitor 1)
2- Dr Y (Client)
3- Dental Clinic + City + Dr Z (Competitor 2)

I think that maybe people won't choose "Dr Y" because they could think it's maybe a generalist or something. I may be wrong , I'm just wondering what you guys think.

Would you in this scenario, adjust the business name by something like : "Dentist + Dr Y" ?
If you do , are we have to repeat the exact same business name in the whole Local Citation Building process ? Same for the schema markup on my client's website ?

Thanks you by advance for your help
I would use the correct name for your client. If the business is just the dentist's name and that's how the practice is registered with the government, then go with that.

If those 2 competitors are keyword stuffing or adding geo modifiers to their name (which is against G guidelines) and they are not registered with that name, then I would report those 2 listings.
What about "Dr Y Dentist"?

That would be my instinct. (Note to Jerem: I'm not a local expert here, just the tech guy :))
You're kind of asking 2 questions.

1) Would people recommend adjusting the name? No, and rightfully so, because it's against Google's guidelines as Scott pointed out.

2) What maybe you are really asking is should you take the risk and do what your competitors are doing? No one here can answer that for you. I agree that having "Dentist" in the name makes it more appealing to searchers, but rules are rules.
Hi there, I used to specialize in Dentistry so here is my 2 cents.

I'm not afraid of "name spam listing". I believe I can beat it given the low competition in this city. However, what scared me is the expected CTR if I can get my client in the local map pack.

I'm with Scott, I would not KW spam the name.

Additional questions to ask yourself:

1) What would CTR be like playing by the rules + keeping the real name and staying at #2
VS having no listing at all because it's been suspended.

2) How would the client react if her listing totally disappeared & Google calls stopped?

Would she think you didn't know what you were doing?

If you told the truth: You knowingly broke the rules & that's what got her suspended - Would she fire you?

If she didn't fire you, how many extra hours would it cost you to fight the suspension, fix the citations to make things right???

So if you are even considering doing this, I would explain the risk and tell her that totally losing her listing on Google is a potential worst case scenario. Ask client to make the decision.

Re: the name formats for the imaginary 3 pack you listed above: None of those names are formatted correctly. Instead of Dr Julia Smiles it should be Julia Smiles DDS or Julia Smiles DMD (depending on what she is.) That is the way all the important Dental directories and YP and everyone would list her name, so that formatting of name likely already has the most natural citations.

As far as CTR goes, just tacking Dentist in front of her name does not even look good or sound real to potential patients. "Dentist - Dr. Julia Smiles"

So IF I were to fudge it (which I wouldn't) I'd make it a name that sounded more natural and legit. "Dentistry by Julia Smiles DDS" A name that sounds legit as opposed to one that's obviously just KW stuffed, would be less likely to be reported by a competitor or their SEO and as far as ranking synonyms work.

However I would carefully weigh things and do some citation research before making any name change. Even the legit change to Julia Smiles DDS. Any change to NAP can have unforeseen consequences - for instance could knock her out of the pack temporarily. So just carefully research before changing because the last thing you want to do is to have to change it again and set off a big red flag.

Does that all make sense?

Any other thoughts on this?
Thank you so much for your replies. It's always great when everyone is agree, it really makes the things easier :)

If the listing names sound unusuals it's because they were not originally in english. I translated it from french :) (my country language)

I'm thinking like you, I'd like to take zero risk for my clients and reporting name spams could be a very good option. I don't know if it's the same for you but in France, there are so much spam keywords in the dental niche.

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