Nov 18, 2014
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I recently changed a clients address and name on their Google My Business page. they were using the incorrect address listing the wrong city and not listing the specific suite that they were located in. I also added a long, unique, descriptive description to the about section along with links to their Facebook page, Yelp, and Merchant Circle page. At the same time I was doing this, I began correcting existing citations and building new ones on quality (top 50-esque) sites. I also chose more relevant categories to their service offerings (they are a service based business that does business at their customers location and not at their own). Here's what happened:


The past few days, their views just dropped off completely. I am not sure if this is normal considering the above changes or if it's more likely a penalty. I've never seen the views drop off entirely.

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Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Hi Justin,

Sorry your client's ranking dropped.

Impossible to guess without looking at the listing. If you can post a link we can look in more detail.

But without seeing listing, just based on your comments, here are a couple thoughts.

Any time you change name or address, you break NAP and it can cause lost ranking.
In this case it sounds like you changed both. Plus if city changed that's a biggie.

Sounds like you changed everything in existing dash? Have you done a thorough search for the old name/address to see if Google created a dupe? If so, should mark it as relocated instead of having a live dupe out there.

Last but not least, insights often drop off like that, so you can't use that as your only indicator.
Could be a data glitch which happens often.

So how has ranking changed? That might be a better indicator of what's up.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Hi Justin, thanks for PMing me the link but as I explained I don't offer private support for free. I only do free support in the forum, so that all the time I take to analyze and explain can hopefully help more than one person.

So I'll give you some quick feedback here without mentioning client name or link.

I don't have time at all for a deep dive and like I said likely between address and name change that created issues.

I also added a long, unique, descriptive description to the about section along with links to their Facebook page, Yelp, and Merchant Circle page.

But the other thing I noticed immediately is a description that could cause a ranking penalty. I've seen 10 point ranking penalties or greater many times for GMB descriptions that have heavy repetition of city and KWs. In fact I've seen penalties when city was only repeated 2 times. (This is one of the many things I go into detail about in my training to help consultants avoid problems like this.)

On this client NYC is repeated 10 times, business name 9 times, New York a couple times and limo and other keywords several times.

Plus we know Google is sensitive to anchor link text and you have 4 links with the exact same anchor text: "Business name - Professional 3 word KW string NYC". Those links should not have heavy KW anchor text and def not all the same. But again the main thing is repeating name, city and KWs.

So that whole description I'm afraid would look spammy to the algo.
The description is not a ranking factor so does not help to load it up with keywords.

Since this could be part of the penalty if there is one, I would strip it down to 1 -2 short paragraphs. Don't think KWs, think conversions. What makes this one stand out so customers would pick it over another? Do not repeat city or business name.

I've seen listings pop right back after they clean it up. But I've seen others that had excessive KW repetition like this stay penalized for 5 months. I can show you an example right here on the forum of one that was similar and the penalty lasted for 5 months.

Hope this helps and best of luck!
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