More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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<img src="" alt="" title="puzzlefound" height="170" hspace="10" align="left"><strong>Strategies for solving the practitioner duplicate puzzle</strong>

Google will no longer remove practitioner listings and they can cause ranking problems as well as review problems. Ranking problems include the Dr or attorney listing replacing the main practice listing in the pack OR just locking the practice out and none of them rank.

I wrote up a strategy for dealing with the ranking problem below. All the consultants that have tried it tell me it works well. And I showed it to Google and they agreed the strategy makes sense.

In a nutshell you MINIMIZE the Dr, Dentist or Attorney (Practitioner) listings so they don't interfere with the main practice listing's ranking.

<a href="">Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, Attorneys</a>

There is a link at the top of the post that explains the core problem. In the past Google would delete or merge practitioner listings like they would any other dupe. Now they won't. So the only solution I've found that works is to minimize the listing.

Be sure not to claim the practitioner listings. Just do a user edit as described in that post.
However, if already claimed you can do the same thing.

Related post: Dr. Dupes and Google+ Local User Edits
Re: Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, At

Happy to report that the trick you had recommended to deal with issue of practioner's Google Places listing v/s the practice listing worked for me.. took quite a bit of time.. but now the practice listing has started appearing in the searches before the doctor's listing.

The doctor's listing used to be on the first page of Map listings but the practice listing is showing up on top on the second page.. but that is fine.

Thanks, Linda!
Re: Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, At

Awesome! Glad it worked. Thanks so much for letting us know Vijay.

Since I don't work on clients any more I have to live vicariously through your experiences. :)
Re: Troubleshooting Google Local Ranking Issues - InsideLocal Webinar

Edit by Linda - Steven asked a good Q in another thread, so copying here for everyone's benefit.

Linda, there's a certain thing we can do in regards to minimizing the practitioner listings for dentists, regarding categories (hope you get what I"m getting at). I don't want to say it out loud because it's part of your training, but I'm wondering in regards to the guidelines changing if that is still recommended. If I need to just say what I'm trying to say, let me know. If not I can always PM you.
Re: Troubleshooting Google Local Ranking Issues - InsideLocal Webinar

Hi Steven,

If it's in the practitioner dupe part of training I don't think it's one of my secret sauce tips protected by NDA, so go for it. Thanks for asking 1st though. Curious to hear what you are wondering as it relates to the new guidelines.

Ahhh, I think I know now. YA that's a good thing to bring up. Go for it!
Re: Troubleshooting Google Local Ranking Issues - InsideLocal Webinar

Ok, Linda, thank you.

Alright, so I'm going off my memory here, because I don't have time to go back and check at the moment, but I believe that there is a school of thought that if you, for example, had a less used category, like "dental clinic", for your practitioner page(abc dentistry: doctor name DDS), and then use a stronger one, like "dentist" for your main practice page (abc dentistry), that that might minimize the ranking for the practitioner page, and therefore help the ranking for the practice page.

Hope I'm making sense there. So, with the new guidelines saying we should pick one main category, would this be something that we should not do?
Re: Troubleshooting Google Local Ranking Issues - InsideLocal Webinar

Good point and thanks for bringing it up Steven.

Yes I'd say it still applies but want to explain more about it in light of the new guidelines.

The guidelines apply to claimed listings. You can only get in trouble for violating guidelines on a listing you own. The practitioner listings, based on my recommendations you won't claim, just do a user edit. So no problem there. Plus you aren't trying to make this one better or right, just minimizing. And really the distinction when it comes to practitioners cats is not even as much minimizing as it is not having both listings compete for the same cat.

Now there is a chance that eventually a mapper or Googler may not approve the edit, if they don't think it's a good fit.

But still on the practice listing you have claimed, you'd want to have the strongest, most important and most precise category there.
I've gone in and changed the website link for a lot of attorney listings to their profile page, as suggested. All their website profile pages and G+ pages list their direct line and the main phone number for the firm. Do you think I should go through and try to remove the main phone number, and only leave their direct line on their G+ listing?

Hope that makes sense.
In all the cases I'm aware of the phone # didn't seem to matter. Once name was stripped to practitioner name, cat was adjusted and link was changed, then they don't create a problem.

Are these claimed or unclaimed?
Hi Linda,

Thanks for taking the time to address this.

Most are unclaimed. There are about 45 of them. Good to know the phone number isn't a big issue.

So the practice name should be stripped too? How would you explain that edit?
So the practice name should be stripped too? How would you explain that edit?

Per the new guidelines, if it's a practitioner it should be practitioner name only.

"Practice name: Practitioner Name" is a problem for a variety of reasons. For instance in the past could cause merges. But also can cause splintered reviews. (Client searches for Practice Name, leaves review on the 1st one that comes up which sometimes is "Practice name: Practitioner Name" listing.

Plus the fact that with a combo name, they both have same NAP. (1/2 of the name is the same.)

The exception to everything I said above is if it's a sole practitioner with a practice and he plans to stay solo then name can and should be "Practice name: Practitioner Name"

I had forgotten about that, or at least failed to connect the dots on it's relevance to this issue. So much change to keep track of in the local SEO world, but at least it's never boring!
Since Pigeon is hiding dupes now, the whole process has changed.

New info here:

<a href="">Advanced Tip for Google Local Troubleshooting & Duplicate Discovery</a>

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