Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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<img src="" alt="RankingPuzzle" width="55%" />​

I have not started a "Why Ranks High" game for awhile, so thought it was high time! :)

Mike Blumenthal and I have been analyzing one-boxes. Not the old spammy keyword stuffed ones that were way too common a year ago. Now we're seeing a lot of regular brands that don't even match the query, that are being awarded with one-boxes and locking the rest of the local businesses out of the 7 pack.

So I wanted to share one with you I've been working on over at the Google forum.

Let's put our head's together to see why Google LOVES this not very well optimized listing so much that it scored the coveted one-box.

<a href="!msg/business/NlLgTBNcl7g/K4UckPOJh90J">How did they do it? - Google Product Forums</a>

When I type in the term "Los Angeles Matchmaking" in quotations into the plain google search only carchmatchmaking comes up as 1 map location. I went over to google maps and did the same and they are the only one in the entire los angeles city who comes up for "Los Angeles Matchmaking" in quotations. I believe this to be a conspiracy. Pending I am a nerd for the larger matchmaking company with a majority of the market share here they are wondering what i am doing wrong but this is somehow something they did on purpose above and beyond the best practices.

Query: “Los Angeles Matchmaking”
One-box: catchmatchmaking DOT com

REMINDER: Often you have to set your location to the query city to see these. So if out of state, you might see a 7 pack unless you set location to LA.

BUT this one is weird. As you’ll see in my analysis above, I don’t see anything at all that’s helping this listing rank – much less be awarded with a one-box!

In discussing this one with Mike he noted that this one and a couple others he looked at - ranked #1 organic in Yelp. So that's one common denominator and possibility.

I did a little more digging...

Tons of citations.

38,800 for the partial match: "Catch Matchmaking" "(310) 867-0851"

So then since they also have an office in Newport Beach, I decided to see if they scored a one-box there too.

"Newport Beach Matchmaking" - there was no 7 pack at all.

So I did query: "Newport Beach Matchmaker Service".

A different company scored a one-box there. NOT EVEN a CLAIMED LISTING
In fact the listing says RESTRICTED on it!

But in the case of this one as well, the top organic spot is their YELP page!
That's the main common denominator it seems.

So join me boys and girls - let's solve this puzzle!

It could offer a clue as to how the Pigeon algo works and what factors she's rewarding.

Can you find anything else besides a top Yelp ranking, that's causing either of those to not only rank high, but to score the coveted one-box???
<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="So join me boys and girls - let's solve this puzzle! It could offer a clue as to how the Pigeon algo works and what factors she's rewarding.">
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Nov 25, 2014
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Hi Linda,

In this case I don't think it's a tough one at all.

'Matchmaking' isn't a category in Google for this business or their competition. However 'dating service' is. If you search for 'dating service los angeles' you will see the 7 pack including Catch Matchmaking.

I believe in this case it is coming up for 'matchmaking los angeles' because Google believes that is part of their business name which of course it is.

Whatcha think?

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Thanks Jason! Was starting to fear no one was going to play with me! ;)

Yes I think that's a big part of it for that one.

But the "Newport Beach Matchmaking" query turns up "Palm and Associates"

And Mike is bringing up lots of others at LocalU, that don't have KW in name.

One example is: billings mt snow shoveling
Gives a one box to: "John's Home And Yard Service"

So most don't even have KW in name.

But I agree with you, that's likely a big part of it with the main example I shared.



Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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I've seen Mike write about branding pushing 1 boxes and I have to agree.

If you Google these keywords:

  • matchmaking los angeles
  • los angeles matchmaking

1 boxes appear. And the Yelp listing is right underneath them.

If you Google "matchmaking in los angeles" however, their Yelp page appears at the top by itself. *Also, it's strange to note that the other search results look completely different for this query, yet they're still at the top with their Yelp page, signaling an even higher correlation with the "matchmaker" keyword.

If you add "CA" at the end like so:

[*]matchmaking los angeles ca
[*]los angeles ca matchmaking
[*]matchmaking in los angeles ca

The 1 boxes disappear and the 7 pack comes back.

I think this is an even stronger argument for branding being the reason they are 1 boxing. When you add "CA", Google shows the 7 pack because I think they now believe this is a general search, not a branded search.

We may also want to take into account CTR on this. Both their Yelp page and their website probably have an overwhelming CTR. Both listings are at the top for these keywords AND in the 7 pack they are the only ones with stars and it's not even close. 17 reviews vs 4.

When I " los angeles matchmaking" they have a highly, highly unusual amount of pages with keywords/location in the URL.

It may be that they are so tightly associated with matchmaking via the PMD plus all the pages/content that is why Google is associating them with that keyword as a brand.

Also, they hardly use "los angeles ca" in their page URL's so I think we can assume that they don't optimize for CA as much and that would make sense why the keywords without CA aren't 1 boxed.

Anybody else?

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Great analysis and additional points Joshua!

Who else has ideas to share?
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