LouiseBoylen

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The algorithm ate my homework ? or at least the map result that used to appear for ?Montville accommodation? searches.
Since late August, we there has been no map/7-pack result for the search term ?Montville accommodation?. This is an important category as Montville (Queensland Australia) is a vacation destination so ?montville accommodation? is a common search query. Now instead of 7+ local businesses being shown on page one, over half the organic listings are multinational third party booking engines. Used the Google feedback channel 3x. No change. Any suggestions?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Louise and welcome.

To be sure I understand... You are saying there WAS a 7 pack and now there is none, no map and organic only?

Is that destination and searches for it seasonal do you think? Because if we are in the off season and search volume drops that can make the 7 pack disappear.

Because I think at least part of what triggers a pack is enough search volume with enough local intent. Packs just don't show sometimes in either smaller towns or for niche, not very popular KWs.

Plus if it's US searchers looking to vacation there that's not a search term they would use, so I would not think it's a very popular KW, but maybe over there it is.

I don't think there is anything you can do. It's all algo driven.
 

LouiseBoylen

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Thanks for your response, Linda. I don't think its seasonal or demand-driven for a couple of reasons. Two neighbouring towns (Flaxton and Mapleton) which have less accommodation and fewer searches according to Google webtrends still return a map/7-pack for "Flaxton accommodation" and "Mapleton accommodation".

But here's a bit more detail that may shed light and why human error may be involved.
1. In late August, before the map disappeared completely, instead of the usual seven listings that had always appeared, one day there was just a single listing for a business called "Montville Accommodation" but when I checked it, the business did not exist.
No street address, phone number disconnected and the number last belonged to an accommodation property that had not operated at least five years. So I notified Google and they took it down. That's why I think maybe there may also be an element of human error in the disappearance of our category (and why I'm persisting).
2. I noticed on our SEO data that we were being found on real estate searches. So I checked some search terms and found that "Montville houses for sale" brought up a map with one real estate agent and six tourist accommodation properties. Although this morning, there's only a three-pack with two tourist accommodation properties and one real estate agent.
 

Keenan Glass

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There was an update recently that began to show a lot of what we call Linda Boxes, a single exact name One Box listings that replaced the 7-pack.

Google is looking into it, but it's all automated so, you should not have an expectation of a local pack for any search term no matter how relevant you think it is or should be.

I see 7-packs come and go all the time, even from day to day.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes Keenan is right.

The one box that was showing was due to the algo change. Then if you reported it as out of business or whatever, Google likely took that listing down. But someone would have dealt with that single listing, not changed the algo so no pack showed. Trust me when I say we have been trying HARD to get that algo changed. When and if they do it would not just be a single city here or there.

Keenan is right about the pack coming and going too. Sometimes its just unpredictable. Sometimes the pack even goes missing for a large local search like Seattle Chiropractor.
 

LouiseBoylen

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Thanks Linda and Keenan. I saw Linda's Hummingbird post in the sidebar; guess we've been skewered on its needle beak.
You can add our little tourist town and about 100 Montville accommodation properties that have been impacted. Interestingly "accommodation in/near Montville" brings up a map and seven-pack despite having far fewer searches.
webtrebnds.jpg

The impact means instead of at least seven real local businesses being on page 1, the front page is dominated by corporations like bookingdotcom and expedia. Perhaps Google sees that as a better result for searchers.
Thanks again. I appreciate your advice.

webtrebnds.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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Interestingly "accommodation in/near Montville" brings up a map and seven-pack despite having far fewer searches.

Yes, for example Google never gives SEO related KWs local results. Several others as well. But if you search KW in or near city then you can see a pack.
 
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