Brian Barwig

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I've been trying to analyze how and why companies are ranking in the new Local Stack since the changeover happened. I ran a test through 6 industries, 25 queries each and then analyzed each of the 3 Packs (yes, all of them were 3 Packs). The problem is, even with all that data, I am unable to find a pattern.

I?ve run through the past and most recent Moz Local Ranking factors and none of those principles appear to apply to the new Pack. The typical ranking factors one would normally expect to see having an impact are not present.

One pattern which appears to be forming is Brands are taking a hit. Brands are taking a back seat to local ?mom and pop? shops in all 6 of the industries I analyzed. If there is a large, national brand in a city where there are also local, smaller players, the small business is taking the Local Pack from the Brand.

Am I out of my mind here or are you seeing something similar?

What are you seeing with the clients you are working with?

Which factors are you noticing work the best for your clients to get into the Local Pack?

If the typical Local Ranking Factors are no longer working, what is the appropriate approach to work large Brands back into the Pack?
 

wesleyu

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I don't see that here. Of my clients I have ADT ranking above a local small mom and pop security company. Petco ranks above the local mom and pop dog groomers. And these companies afford more with adwords.

I have a couple small mom and pop that do rank higher but it's not that simple.
 

Brian Barwig

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I appreciate the reply wesleyu.

Dog grooming is a great example. I quickly did some searches for *dog grooming city* and here are some of the results:

Phoenix: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...pv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+phoenix

New York: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...v=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+new+york

Chicago: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...pv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+chicago

Little Rock: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+little+rock

Now it may be different in your area, but all of those are smaller, local shops outranking the Petco's of the world.

Im just not seeing Brands as much as I used to nor as much as I expected. I'd love to hear more thoughts and examples.
 

regl8r

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I appreciate the reply wesleyu.

Dog grooming is a great example. I quickly did some searches for *dog grooming city* and here are some of the results:

Phoenix: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...pv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+phoenix

New York: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...v=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+new+york

Chicago: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...pv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+chicago

Little Rock: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=dog+grooming+little+rock

Now it may be different in your area, but all of those are smaller, local shops outranking the Petco's of the world.

Im just not seeing Brands as much as I used to nor as much as I expected. I'd love to hear more thoughts and examples.


Petco is a bad example. They target pet supplies over grooming.
 

DanLeibson

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I don't see this either Brian. All our brands are doing great. Ranking factors are more or less the same (though remember, LSRF is a small sample survey). For us it's all about local organic as the primary focus with off-site local worked into that in a compatible way. Seems to be paying off, feel free to back-channel if you want to chat more.
 

JoyHawkins

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Brian,

The problem with the big insurance brands (that I know you referenced) is that organically only about 1-3 per city don't get filtered organically. So if you have 45 Allstate agents, 20 Nationwide Agents, and 50 State Farm agents in the same town, Google ends up filtering all but 3 for each (let's say for example). Then if those 3 happen to also have the right local signals, they rank. Often they don't because insurance has some of the worst NAP scenarios you get in the local space.
 

Brian Barwig

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Thank you for the reply Joy. I was unaware Google is filtering results for more than 3 locations. Do you have a reference on this?

In the way you described, it does seem that Google is removing brands from the Local Stack if there is only a certain percentage chance (3 locations / x total locations) Google is even not filtering them.

I agree on the NAP issues as well though the Moz Local Scores for some were in the 80's to 90's depending upon the company.
 

Brian Barwig

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In addition, does that mean the Self Storage industry has a huge local issue with their small businesses since much of which is ranking in that sector are the big Brands? If there are 6 Public Storage locations and 4 Extra Space locations and yet those are the only 3 in the Stack, it would seem to me there is a great opportunity for small businesses to come in and steal that real estate - according to what you stated above with only 3 locations being un-filtered.

Not only that, but it also says a good deal about the job the self storage SEO teams are doing with their NAP.
 

JoyHawkins

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https://www.google.com/search?num=100&site=&source=hp&q=auto+insurance+chicago
vs
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&site=&source=hp&q=auto+insurance+chicago&filter=0

In the non-filtered version for Allstate you get (in the top 100):
#25 - https://agents.allstate.com/joe-schneider-chicago-il.html

In the version that shows all the filtered results you get:

#35 - https://agents.allstate.com/joe-schneider-chicago-il.html
#65 - https://agents.allstate.com/mark-tellez-chicago-il.html
#66 - https://agents.allstate.com/mindy-blanco-chicago-il.html
#71 - https://www.allstate.com/auto-insurance/chicago-illinois-auto-insurance.aspx
#75 - https://agents.allstate.com/glenn-dougherty-chicago-il.html
#77 - https://www.allstate.com/auto-insurance/local/chicago-il.aspx
#86 - https://agents.allstate.com/john-tunnell-chicago-il.html


In a smaller city,

https://www.google.com/search?num=100&site=&source=hp&q=auto+insurance+denton
vs
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&site=&source=hp&q=auto+insurance+denton&filter=0


In the normal version:

#1 - https://agents.allstate.com/tommy-graham-denton-tx.html
#4 - https://www.statefarm.com/agent/US/TX/Denton/Tim-Shoopman-KGSTS1YS000
#20 - Denton Car Insurance Agents - Nationwide
#22 - Wade Hunt Insurance Agent in Denton, TX 76201-9074 - Nationwide
#23 - Wade Hunt Insurance Agent in Denton, TX 76210-8033 - Nationwide
#28 - https://www.farmersagent.com/roverlander

In the version that shows all the filtered crap:
#1 - https://agents.allstate.com/tommy-graham-denton-tx.html
#5 - https://www.statefarm.com/agent/US/TX/Denton/Tim-Shoopman-KGSTS1YS000
#16 - https://www.statefarm.com/agent/US/TX/Denton/Ricardo-Sempertegui-BS5T55HN5AL (FILTERED)
#17 - https://agents.allstate.com/george-carranza-denton-tx.html (FILTERED)
#22 - Tim Shoopman - State Farm Insurance Agent in Denton, TX (FILTERED)
#23 - https://agents.allstate.com/glen-denehie-denton-tx.html (FILTERED)
#24 - https://agents.allstate.com/michael-doranski-denton-tx.html (FILTERED)
#25 - Denton Car Insurance Agents - Nationwide
#26 - Wade Hunt Insurance Agent in Denton, TX 76201-9074 - Nationwide
#27 - Wade Hunt Insurance Agent in Denton, TX 76210-8033 - Nationwide
#28 - Car Insurance in Denton, TX 76205 - Nationwide (FILTERED)
#29 - Car Insurance in Denton, TX 76201 - Nationwide (FILTERED)
#30 - Car Insurance in Denton, TX 76205 - Nationwide (FILTERED)
#31 - Car Insurance in Denton, TX 76210-8033 - Nationwide (FILTERED)


I will stop there. I could continue but this post is already too long.
I plan on writing a piece on Search Engine Land on this btw :)
 

Brian Barwig

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Thanks again Joy, and I will definitely be looking for your post on SEL about this.

Why would it matter if the businesses are ranking organically or not in order to be in the Local Stack?
 

JoyHawkins

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@Brian - it's possible to rank without it, just WAY harder. So yes, it matters. A lot. When Pigeon rolled out, Google started counting organic factors way more so where you rank organically has a huge influence on where you rank in the pack.
 

cdawg2610

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Interesting read Brian - I'd be curious to see too what some of these looked like before. In terms of Auto Repair, the brand type pages have never really showed - the examples you had show more for auto parts searches.
 

Brian Barwig

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Appreciate the reply and information Joy and Cdawg.

I know there isn't one right answer and methods differ between people, though none of these results really made sense to me. If it was as easy as reversing an algorithm or following the MLRF's, there would be a pattern, though I couldnt find one. The analysis challenged typical SEO practices and I found that interesting.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation.
 
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