Jul 20, 2012
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I have a former dentist client is ranking #1 top keyword for local. The practice & domain was my clients name. The business was sold and the new owner renamed the business, built a new website, and removed the former owners name or mention on the new site. The former domain is now forwarding to the new website.

Nothing was changed in the local listing. Since the listing was completely built around the former business name and domain, is it likely slip in rankings quickly, slowly or will it probably keep ranking the same. Is it likely to disappear off first page?

I'm not and won't be doing anything with new owner so I'm just curious.

thanks Ron


Nov 20, 2012
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It'll probably take some time for the new name to creep into ecosystem and start to affect rankings due to bad data.

You should consider sending the new owner this article that the guys over at Local SEO Guide published on SEL.


Jul 22, 2012
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It honestly depends a lot on what the new owner does. For example, if he starts building local assets for the new business without cleaning the old business assets then inconsistencies will be created and rankings could be lost quickly. However, if he cleans local assets and handles the rebranding properly then rankings could fall while the cleaning work is being done and come back up as Google recognizes the changes. Also, Google's URL guidelines are pretty strict on redirects so if it goes unchanged that could also cause a drop in rankings. More than likely the listing will fall off the first page.


Jul 20, 2012
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Thanks for the good info. I worked hard to build the rankings for the practice over the years to go from non existent to getting the great results it gets now. The new owner said he wanted to continue with me. But after spending hours telling him how to make the changeover without hurting rankings, he decided he didn't want to change anything for 6 months and we could work together then (didn't pay a dime for my advice) . Then 3 weeks later he does basically the opposite because I guess he knows better or has his own advisor.

Either way I don't need clients like that. I'm not going do anything with him and the evil side of me wants to see his rankings drop fast :mad:



Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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If he had changed all the citation data to the new NAP, he probably wouldn't have lost ranking at all. We had a client that switched location and name (but not phone or website) and they maintained their ranking across the board. That was close to a year and a half ago.

For future reference or anyone else reading this thread in retro, if the website changes as well, that shouldn't mess anything up either as long as a 301 is in place. But it needs to be a 301 for all old pages going to their respective new page, not just the homepage.

Has he called you back yet? Surely after the drop he's noticed a loss in patients?
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