Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Having a hard time ranking? Or you WERE ranking and dropped???

Phil just did a comprehensive post about all the diagnostics you need to do to track down the problem and fix it.

<a href="">Every Local SEO Diagnostic You’ll Ever Need to Know (Plus Some)</a>

You may be stumped as to why you’re not ranking well (or at all)…but don’t say it’s because you tried everything and just couldn’t figure it out.

You probably didn’t try everything.

I can think of 51 diagnostics you should try if you want to troubleshoot local SEO problems or find missed opportunities. I’ll tell you all 51 in a minute.

Excellent post as always by Phil.

Here are a couple things I just wanted to add:

Check the “Maps” tab
Are you ranked #10? Are you on page 5? To find out, type in a search term, click the “Map results…” link under the Google Places results, then click the “See results in list view” link.

That would be directions for new maps which is how to check ranking further back. But wanted to mention if you use Classic maps still as most local SEOs I know do, then the ranking order may be totally different. There in classic you may still rank on top. But it's showing the old pre-Pigeon ranking order.

Make sure the page is verified
Look for the little checkmark near the profile photo.

That verification check mark does not always show. If you are verified in dash and you see description on the listing, then you are verified. That's verification checkmark is a feature that is a little hit or miss and does not always show on local listings, but it's not a problem if it's missing.

Also wanted to add, check to be sure you are not repeating City or KWs over and over in description. I've seen that cause a major ranking penalty many times and sometimes even after you clean it up, if it's seen by the algo as super spammy, it can take 5 months or so to recover.

Awesome stuff Phil. Thanks for the great tips!

I also just posted about a <a href="">Comprehensive Free Local SEO Audit Template</a> from Dan Leibson at Local SEO Guide that ties right into this post.


Nov 19, 2014
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This looks like a GREAT tool! I'm sure most of the ideas are just as relevant today as they were when it was published.

One thing I wondered about.... We have an HTML-site that is working well on desktops, and we're going to do a mobile specific site. (Client is HVAC repair in Texas) I know that tablets are recognized differently in Google searches, but is a company penalized on tablets for not having a mobile site? I'm sorry if it's a rudimentary question, but it's one I haven't explored.


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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I would imagine there isn't a penalty per se, but there may be a ranking increase provided to those who have a mobile friendly site when being searched out from a mobile device.

Personally, I don't think this is true...yet. Google just recently started notifying mobile users in their SERP's when a site is mobile friendly. I imagine a small ranking boost is given in the near future.

Just my take.
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