Laustin1878

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I've seen many websites devote space to listing all of the cities they do business in or target. In less cases, I've seen actual pages devoted to these cities. Some sites I've seen it in a scroll box in the right column, I've seen it in a box below the main content of the page. It is either on the home page or top level pages. I've also seen it in the footer across the entire site. I'm not entirely sold on the look of it but these pages seem to rank well.

I thought I read that this was not a good idea but naturally, I cannot find where I read it. Is this still a recommended practice? If you do something similar, do you feel it has helped you rank locally? Is it beneficial?
 

Linda Buquet

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Yep Luke, I've posted it. Not just that's it's not a good idea, but it's actually spelled out in the Google webmaster guidelines.

"Examples of keyword stuffing include:

- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value

- Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for"


Here is the postWarning: New Google Guidelines Local SEOs Must Know - Could Cause Penalties

NOTE: Stuff like this can often be found by looking in the tag cloud link at the top of the forum.
This one was categorized under #warning, #important and #guidelines.

I'm trying hard to categorize everything important with the right hashtags, but don't always get around to it. BUT many of the best posts are listed.

The ones I personally am categorizing all start with #hastag. Others without #hashtag are ones added by users so may not be as consistent in categorization.
 

Laustin1878

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Thanks Linda. I probably did read it here. What I don't fully understand is that it's blatantly against the TOS and they still rank well. I have not dug deep into seeing what else is helping the sites rank but I have seen some ugly listings of cities as well as some nicer ways to display. Perhaps they are displayed using CSS or something.

I would love to have a page for each city but I don't think it's possible without repeating text to some extent. There are too many cities to cover and not much difference with the info. I certainly do not want to sacrifice appearance and usability so I really wasn't planning on using this technique. I was thinking of grouping cities together and writing a page for say 10 cities near one another.

I'll have to do some additional research tomorrow. I think I have to catch a good glimpse of the guidelines as well.
 

Linda Buquet

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What I don't fully understand is that it's blatantly against the TOS and they still rank well. I have not dug deep into seeing what else is helping the sites rank but I have seen some ugly listings of cities as well as some nicer ways to display.

Google Guidelines are like drunk driving laws. Lots of folks get away with drinking and driving for a long time. Does not make it right that others do it and if/when they get caught (either way - by Google or the cops) it could be time consuming and costly. (Edited to add) And painful!
 

Blake Denman

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Google Guidelines are like drunk driving laws. Lots of folks get away with drinking and driving for a long time. Does not make it right that others do it and if/when they get caught (either way - by Google or the cops) it could be time consuming and costly.

So instead of getting a DUI, maybe go for a wet and reckless? :p
 

Linda Buquet

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LOL Blake!

Ya all you need to do is find a good Atty with Google search and they'll plead you down! :p
 
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Had about 60 listings for a firm that was using fake name and keyword stuffed titles so I flagged all as spam (also using ups store locations) and they have all been removed now :)


Chris McCreery
 

Nevyana

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I would love to have a page for each city but I don't think it's possible without repeating text to some extent. There are too many cities to cover and not much difference with the info.

There are certain ideas that you could rely on to diversify your service area pages - listing your local specific reviews/testimonials being one of them. You could also target local specific content as well: describing local sights, places of interests, history highlights, amusing trivia, local events and annual festivals - this info combined with a paragraph or a couple of sentences on your business and how it fits the area and the local community needs would be a great choice for service area page content. What is more you could also describe the local team members - drafting a small bio paragraph on the major figures - brand manager, sales team, etc.

It is not that difficult to create area specific and yet distinct content, I am sure that you would get more ideas as you start thinking of the specific nature of your business in the given location.
 
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