Feb 5, 2013
Reaction score
David Mihm did some pretty neat Google maps research last week AND shared the wealth in this post on Moz today :D
Last edited by a moderator:

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Hi Amber, thanks for sharing.

I was involved in some of the discussions leading up to that post and was working on my own post, but you posted before I could get mine done. So I expanded your title to include part of the title I was going to use, because reverse engineering the algo and also discovering another local search penalty hack is at the core of this discussion.

Here is the live link:

<a href="">Stop Worrying About the New Google Maps; These URL Parameters Are Gold - Moz</a>


To some degree, all of this started with Broland's discovery in this post at our forum:
<a href="">Hack to Check for Google Local Penalties</a>

Then Google removed Places search so the option to add &tbm=plcs to a query and that hack no longer worked.

Which resulted in this discussion among pros on G+.
<a href="">Has Google killed off the 'workaround' Google Places search, where you can see…</a>

And that lead to David's post on Moz today.

I just commented:

"Knew you had something about this coming out and was interested in reading what you'd found.

I'll be doing more testing now with this ammunition at hand.

All your tests above were for KW only. The algo for KW only searches has always been different than the one for city + KW. The algo for "Seattle Realtor" is easier to reverse engineer. I have that one tested and figured out.

But the algo for KW only, "Realtor" with search location set, has always been tougher to figure out.

So my guess is that if you did more testing that includes city directly in the query like: "Seattle Dentist" it would be much easier to figure out correlation and match the SERPs.

There was a hack published at my forum for checking to see if a listing had a local penalty to determine if that's why it was missing from the "pack." That's one of the main issues in Steve's post you linked to above. I think I found substitute way to test for local penalties - but I'm also going to test some of your parameters to see if I can find any strings that work."

So now I have more testing to do to see if any of David's parameters work.

But I think the easy straight forward hack I discovered may work best of all.
Still testing - will keep you posted.

What do you guys think?

Let's put our head's together and figure this out!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
NickB-Tampa URL is updated in Google My Business but doesn't show up correctly in maps or on Bright Local Local Search 2
L Google Maps URL For Suspended Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 0
paulg Google Places API now returns a google maps url rather than a google+ url Google My Business & Google Maps 10
R Any Benefit from Link Building to Google+ Local Pages and/or Google Maps URLs Local Search 9
R Including a Google Map Listing on a Website - Link to Google+ Local or Google Map URL Local Search 4
david.victor Attribute used as Category by Google on Maps NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 0
Phil Rozek Google Maps reviews get "New" label for reviews less than 1 month old Local Reviews 5
Paul Gregory Google Maps default location bias distance and the Google Maps Places API Google Algorithm Discussions 2
Cherie Dickey Something funny going on in Google Maps... am I missing something? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Matt Chauhan Google Maps showing category that doesn't even exist Local Search 1
F Google Maps Citation confusion? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
cleverlyengaged Advice on Landmarks/POI/Unclaimed Google Map Locations? Google My Business & Google Maps 6
Tim Colling I'm getting calls from "Google Maps" at 650-206-5555, asking about clients' hours - are they legit? Google My Business & Google Maps 14
djbaxter Google Maps Removed 55M Reviews & 3M Fake Business Profiles Spam on Google 4
DangGood Google Maps, Years in Business Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Vickyboli Google maps pin misplaced Google My Business & Google Maps 6
L Google Maps 'Details' section - Can you add to this or edit? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
M Decreased traffic to Google maps due to local service ads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
J Why is my label in Google Maps blue instead of red? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
K New Real Estate (apartments) on Google Maps Local Search 2
Professor M Google Maps and Google My Business Big Changes - Google Maps Local News Feed Google My Business & Google Maps 26
Professor M Google Maps Update - live status of takeout and delivery orders when you book or order from Google Maps on Android and iOS Google News: Important Changes & Features 0
pbarnhart Google Maps Test - USPS cross-referencing for deliverability Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Brian Barwig Why You Should Embed a Google Map on Your Website Google My Business & Google Maps 1
A Big Issue with Google Map Rankings For Everyone Local Search 9
U How is Google Selecting Places on Google Local Context Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 0
MKubot Google Maps Embed on Landing Page - Helpful? Google Local 101 4
k.ivanova Google My Business & Google Maps forum threads being deleted Google My Business & Google Maps 11
djbaxter Google Maps Travel Time Break Room: Chat and Off Topic 0
P Claiming 100 locations on Google Maps - what's the best approach? Multi-Location Issues 4
jimmydoubleu Google business not listed/found on Search/Map after merge Google Duplicates & Merges 6
JoshuaMackens Google Maps Spam Fighting - Edits Not Approved - Solution? Local Search 28
dave101 Shown vs Hidden Address on Google Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 3
djbaxter Google Maps Break Room: Chat and Off Topic 0
AndySimpson Probably just a test BUT....GMB carousel on Google Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 3
CraigJMount Mobility Reports- Apple Maps & Google Maps Local Search 2
jimmydoubleu Verified Google My Business not showing up in Knowledge Panel/Maps Moving or Name Changes 3
N "Fake" Google Map listings Spam on Google 11
S Confused. Very low authority websites keep ranking higher in Google Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 15
O When do you use Google Maps APIs? Local Content 1
F Replied to some stupid chain email, ended up getting my Google account disabled, got back on, now all my GMB listings are 'Suspended' but live in maps Google My Business & Google Maps 6
Jeffrey Embedding Google Maps Issue Google My Business & Google Maps 6
jimbo5 Icons meaning in Google Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 19
WAHamilton How to Get Google to Map a New Development? Moving or Name Changes 6
K Map Pin Does Not Show When Business Owner Googles Their Address Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Justin Mosebach Google Maps Lists (Saved Places) Google My Business & Google Maps 0
Caroline S Best Practices For Submitting Spam Edits On Google Maps? Spam on Google 2
A Google Maps Showing Different Map When Searching Name vs. Address Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Cordell Crowley Unwanted Postmates Link on Google Maps Knowledge Panel Google My Business & Google Maps 37
Cordell Crowley 3-Day Change of Ownership for a Google Maps listing? Google My Business & Google Maps 7

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom