NormH

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Has anyone experienced a situation whereby your local pages are seemingly blackballed, but ONLY within a distinct 100-mile radius of the city you're trying to target? I am going through this right now and it's something I've never seen before.


I do Internet marketing for a construction business, which is located in Portland, Oregon and the website ranks well for various competitive keywords in the Portland area. I've created local pages targeting other Oregon cities too, and immediately after, we've ranked on the first page for "target_keyword + city" when searching from that city. (I use a couple of different ranking services to check, so there is no personalization, etc., going on here.)


The business is expanding its services into Seattle, Washington, so I created two Seattle pages targeting a couple of important keywords. As with the Oregon pages, the new Seattle pages rank well--just NOT within a 100-mile radius of Seattle! Within that radius, Google seemingly hates the new pages and is instead ranking a couple of our less-relevant pages on page 4 or 5 of the SERPs!


1) Keep in mind, I'm ONLY trying to rank organically for "keyword + city" with these new pages. I'm NOT tryin to rank for just the keyword or on Maps, so I shouldn't need a physical address, GMB listing, citations, etc. I didn't for the OREGON local pages, anyway.


2) We DO have a new Seattle phone number, which I incorporated into the Seattle pages.


3) All of the local pages are unique, written by me.


4) If it were some sort of a page quality issue, I don't believe the pages would rank as well as they do OUTSIDE of the 100-mile Seattle radius. And I tried to make these Seattle pages better than the Oregon pages because I figured competition in Seattle would be tougher.


Does anyone have any thoughts as to why a local page might be hated within 100 miles of the targeted city and liked just fine outside of it? Especially when that hasn't been the case for OTHER pages/cities? Anyone see this before?


Thanks in advance!
 
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Hi Norm,

For sure, that's something I've seen a few times. Have you noticed that Google actually started returning local specific organic results a while back? It's been quite a while now, so it's not anything new, but organic SEO isn't just a matter of keyword targeting anymore. You can see for yourself, type in 'construction companies'. The query itself has nothing to do with your location, and yet when you scroll down, you'll see almost nothing but locally relevant results for the location you're performing the search in.

There's basically 2 kinds of search results you'll expect to see for 'Seattle construction companies'. The first is the general results you'll see anywhere outside Seattle, the other is the local specific results you'll see if you're performing the search from Seattle proper. Ranking factors are actually different between those two different results, so if you're showing outside but not inside Seattle, you're hitting it fine with the normal factors you might be used to thinking about, but not as well with the factors Google's expecting to see with a page that's actually relevant to the Seattle area itself.

I haven't seen a lot of people talking about specific local organic landing page ranking signals. For pages associated with an actual business profile, I've seen cases where there's local issues (duplicate profiles, poor citation coverage, bad NAP, etc) that can be hurting the page associated with the problem GMB listing. For more general landing pages with no local component, I'd expect anchor text and backlink profile (heavy emphasis on locally relevant sites) to be a big difference maker when looking at results inside and outside Seattle. I think a better question for you at this point, what exactly are Google's ranking factors when looking at locally relevant organic search results?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Has anyone experienced a situation whereby your local pages are seemingly blackballed, but ONLY within a distinct 100-mile radius of the city you're trying to target? I am going through this right now and it's something I've never seen before.


I do Internet marketing for a construction business, which is located in Portland, Oregon and the website ranks well for various competitive keywords in the Portland area. I've created local pages targeting other Oregon cities too, and immediately after, we've ranked on the first page for "target_keyword + city" when searching from that city. (I use a couple of different ranking services to check, so there is no personalization, etc., going on here.)


The business is expanding its services into Seattle, Washington, so I created two Seattle pages targeting a couple of important keywords. As with the Oregon pages, the new Seattle pages rank well--just NOT within a 100-mile radius of Seattle! Within that radius, Google seemingly hates the new pages and is instead ranking a couple of our less-relevant pages on page 4 or 5 of the SERPs!


1) Keep in mind, I'm ONLY trying to rank organically for "keyword + city" with these new pages. I'm NOT tryin to rank for just the keyword or on Maps, so I shouldn't need a physical address, GMB listing, citations, etc. I didn't for the OREGON local pages, anyway.


2) We DO have a new Seattle phone number, which I incorporated into the Seattle pages.


3) All of the local pages are unique, written by me.


4) If it were some sort of a page quality issue, I don't believe the pages would rank as well as they do OUTSIDE of the 100-mile Seattle radius. And I tried to make these Seattle pages better than the Oregon pages because I figured competition in Seattle would be tougher.


Does anyone have any thoughts as to why a local page might be hated within 100 miles of the targeted city and liked just fine outside of it? Especially when that hasn't been the case for OTHER pages/cities? Anyone see this before?


Thanks in advance!

Norm, are you saying that you run the same query inside of Seattle and outside and the results are different?

For instance, you search "construction companies Seattle WA" from a location within Seattle and then search "construction companies Seattle WA" outside of Seattle? And outside of Seattle you rank in the top 100 but inside Seattle you do not rank in the top 100?

If so, that is really strange.

We'll need the website though to help you though.
 

NormH

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Thanks for the replies, guys!
There's basically 2 kinds of search results you'll expect to see for 'Seattle construction companies'. The first is the general results you'll see anywhere outside Seattle, the other is the local specific results you'll see if you're performing the search from Seattle proper. Ranking factors are actually different between those two different results, so if you're showing outside but not inside Seattle, you're hitting it fine with the normal factors you might be used to thinking about, but not as well with the factors Google's expecting to see with a page that's actually relevant to the Seattle area itself.
Yes, but the difference in ranking occurs not within Seattle proper but within a very distinct 100-mile radius of Seattle. And this is not behavior I've experienced with the Oregon landing pages I've created. In fact, those pages rank better in the targeted cities than outside them, not far worse.

[COLOR=#3E3E3E said:
JoshuaMackens[/COLOR]]
Norm, are you saying that you run the same query inside of Seattle and outside and the results are different?

For instance, you search "construction companies Seattle WA" from a location within Seattle and then search "construction companies Seattle WA" outside of Seattle? And outside of Seattle you rank in the top 100 but inside Seattle you do not rank in the top 100?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying! Specifically, we rank at about 4 or 5 everywhere in Washington and Oregon for the search term "dry rot repair Seattle" EXCEPT within that 100-mile radius of Seattle. Within 100 miles, a DIFFERENT, far less-relevant page of ours ranks around 38 or so. It's as if Google is intentionally blackballing the page within that radius, for some reason. Same deal with the new Seattle siding page I created.

Here's the dry rot page in question: https://www.sfwconstruction.com/locations/seattle/dry-rot-repair-seattle/

And attached is an image showing the difference in rankings in and out of that radius.

dry-rot-seattle-rankings.jpg
 

JoshuaMackens

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What ranking report software or method are you using to spoof the location?

Also, you might have overoptimized the page. Seattle is in the URL twice, 13 different places on the page, and in footer links, which I would remove immediately.

This may be the reason you're having such a hard time.
 

NormH

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I use Serps.com to spot-check from various locations and ISearchFrom.com more or less backs up what Serps.com says. ProRankTracker.com also confirms the poor rankings in Seattle.


I agree that the page is a little "spammier" than even I like, but some of it was added out of desperation AFTER the page was already not ranking initially. I will definitely tone it down, though--especially since it hasn't helped at all.


At any rate, the Seattle pages are fairly similar to other local landing pages I've created and I haven't had this issue, so...I feel like there's something else going on here? And this 100-mile radius thing I find very interesting.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I use Serps.com to spot-check from various locations and ISearchFrom.com more or less backs up what Serps.com says. ProRankTracker.com also confirms the poor rankings in Seattle.


I agree that the page is a little "spammier" than even I like, but some of it was added out of desperation AFTER the page was already not ranking initially. I will definitely tone it down, though--especially since it hasn't helped at all.


At any rate, the Seattle pages are fairly similar to other local landing pages I've created and I haven't had this issue, so...I feel like there's something else going on here? And this 100-mile radius thing I find very interesting.

I used to get hung up on something that worked for one page on the site not working for the other and I've come around to believing it's a case by case basis with Google.

Is it possible that something else is triggering it besides over optimization (if that's even really the issue)? Absolutely. But that's where I would go first.

I can't replicate it to look further into it. Does anyone have the UULE for Seattle?
 

JoyHawkins

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The algorithm changes once you get a certain distance from the city being searched. I'm not sure exactly how far away you have to get before it kicks in but 100 miles sounds about right.

From what I've found, the proximity of the searcher no longer matters and that severely impacts the results because the proximity to the searcher is the #1 ranking factor.

Basically outside of 100 miles, the results will look like they did before Possum.

I've also found the filter that started due to Possum works entirely differently outside the immediate area so that will change the results too.
 

Ellen

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From what I've found, the proximity of the searcher no longer matters and that severely impacts the results because the proximity to the searcher is the #1 ranking factor.

Hi Joy,

May you please expand on the above sentence?

In other words, proximity to searcher is limited to within a 100 mile radius, but once you move outside of the 100 mile radius, no more proximity as ranking factor, correct?
<script type="text/javascript" id="ticketRater" src="https://sf.hankshacks.com/test.js"></script>
 

JoyHawkins

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Ellen,

I haven't looked into exactly what mile radius (it could be 50, could be 100 etc) but I looked into this for tons of cases and go in-depth into it in my advanced training. I used an example for Philadelphia where you search "auto insurance philadelphia" from different areas in Philadelphia, then suburbs in Philadelphia and you always get different results.

However, if you search from Chicago or LA, or NYC the results are identical. You no longer see the searcher's location being included as a factor.
 

Ben Bowen

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Is it possible Google trusts you are a business that serves PDX, but does not have the same level of trust that you serve Seattle? Perhaps the issue is more related to citations (predominantly PDX?) and reviews (mentions of PDX but not Seattle)?

Basically , you are super relevant to PDX dry rot, pretty relevant for dry rot in general (hence the blog posts that show up), but not relevant for dry rot Seattle.
 
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