More threads by sixthcitysarah

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Hi all,

I was hoping to see if anyone else has been seeing changes in the local pack over the past week?

My team and I have been seeing tons of new businesses, that were not in the local pack before, all ranking ahead of others. And the only thing they have in common is a high level of reviews.

Keyword stuffers are still ranking up there as well, but the newcomers with high reviews don't even have their main category as the most relevant to the search. (Ex: Website Designers are ranking for SEO terms above all other Internet Marketing Providers/Marketing Agencies that used to rank)

I know Google released another product reviews update on Dec 1, but in the past, I don't believe it was ever noted to impact local as well.

Curious on everyone's thoughts!
 
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I'd be curious to know @sixthcitysarah or anyone else in this thread if the businesses that you noticed dropping in rankings had keywords in their business name? Our client that dropped in Chicago did have keywords in their business name, and I noticed that 2 of the 3 listings in the new local pack do not have keywords. We also have not seen rankings bounce back to what they were before December 7th - in fact, rankings seem to have gotten worse
 

JoyHawkins

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I'd be curious to know @sixthcitysarah or anyone else in this thread if the businesses that you noticed dropping in rankings had keywords in their business name? Our client that dropped in Chicago did have keywords in their business name, and I noticed that 2 of the 3 listings in the new local pack do not have keywords. We also have not seen rankings bounce back to what they were before December 7th - in fact, rankings seem to have gotten worse
Yes, I have observed the same thing.
 

Rob

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Our two major competitors hired agency's this year and one of them started to buy out every other company in area they could get their hands on. A 3rd company within our service area also hired a large agency but are not located in our main location. Both of our major competitors review profiles unnaturally grew to 3 figures (Uh huh) and I've had to start reporting B.S. GBP's that started to show up in our service areas.

The company that just knocked us out did a couple simple page tweaks and is magically growing reviews at a very quick pace as well. They do not have an overall well designed and optimized website either.

example-6th.jpg
 
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Our two major competitors hired agency's this year and one of them started to buy out every other company in area they could get their hands on and a 3rd company within our service area but not our main location. Both of our major competitors review profiles unnaturally grew to 3 figures (Uh huh) and I've had to start reporting B.S. GBP's that started to show up in our service areas.

The company that just knocked us out did a couple simple page tweaks and is magically growing reviews at a very quick pace as well. They do not have an overall well designed and optimized website either.

example-6th.jpg

Ya I am seeing similar stuff with the reviews, a lot of the new people in the local pack for the terms I am looking at all have a lot of unnatural looking reviews/got a lot of them in a span of a few days
 

joelleppard

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I still haven't noticed patterns causing this rankings to fluctuate, some of my clients have lost 50%.

I did this keyword inclusion test in the title and it seems to me that it still has a positive effect: https://static.localfalcon.com/tren...?&loop_delay=2.5&business=false&keyword=false

I know my area's Local Falcon grids very well from running studying the Local Falcon results every week for years. These fluctuations in my area (Orlando, Central Florida, DUI/Criminal Defense attorney) right now are confounding. In my area, it doesn't seem to be a pattern of punishing GBP's with KWs in name or rewarding # of reviews.

Here are my observations after looking at the various GBPs in Central Florida:
- "Location + KW searches (eg Orlando criminal defense lawyer) saw fewer changes compared with just KW searches (eg criminal defense lawyer)
-less of a correlation between the rankings in Location + KW vs KW than normal
-weak GBPs ranking which have never ranked before
-increased localization with strong GBP's reach decreasing in a number of cases (but not always)
-the fluctuations started around Nov 21st for some KWs and GBPs.


I'm seeing patterns that usually only show up during algorithm updates (rows, isolated islands, outer city limits, patterns which don't follow typical population geographic areas). On a side note, I've always been curious about these unique patterns, if anyone knows about it. Is Google testing out how users react to the new rankings?

These fluctuations don't seem to be stopping. Anyone have any idea what's going on?
 
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Brock1321M

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Same here. construction, plumber, law firms have been smashed in a couple of big cities... I have noticed a lot of the newer listings that are now ranking have exact match or partial match domains (website)
 

JoyHawkins

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Mike Blumenthal talked on Last Week in Local about how the view points for the maps likely shifted when they switched the layout for the new map pack. The image is more square instead of rectangular so I'm seeing tons of SERPs where the map is way more zoomed in than before.

This is either intended, or it's not. I'm still waiting on Google to confirm that. If it was intended, I am seeing that this was an update that impacted proximity. I'm seeing tons of cases where businesses that used to dominate and rank across a very wide area, no longer do. It may have also devalued the impact of keywords in the business name (or that could just be the impact of proximity mattering more). I’m seeing uniformly that map packs have shrunk, are way more zoomed in, and are displaying a wider variety of businesses, many of which were invisible before.

If I get confirmation from Google that this is intended, I'll do a write-up with tons of examples. I just don't want to spend more time analyzing this until I know it's here to stay.
 

HoosierBuff

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add to that issue - the rank tracker I'm using isn't picking up results in the map at all. . . so, while things look different it may have changed, or the tracker may not have picked it up.

It looks like the results did change though - compared to what I used to see.
 

Conor Treacy

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Seeing some issues for our own industry and area. Searching for "Omaha seo" only shows 3 in the map pack, and if you click to maps it's the same. Only the companies with "Omaha seo" as their GMB title are showing. There was 40+ listings before.

Searching "SEO Omaha" at least lists our business, but nobody else from other SEO agencies/ businesses etc.

"Web design Omaha" doesn't have issues, so it's odd that everything is stripped for "omaha seo"
 

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