More threads by katandmouse

Aug 23, 2012
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This has got to be the toughest local business optimization I've ever tried to do so I'm reaching out here to see if anyone has any ideas. Here's the situation.

Client bought a failing restaurant. He is an expert in restaurant development so comes up with a plan to turn things around. He splits the restaurant in two. Inside daytime is a bistro, evening on the patio is a Greek food dinner restaurant with wine bar. We'll call that the wine bar.

He starts promoting the wine bar with Groupons, Amazon Local, Living Social. About that time he hires me to do a website for the bistro and help with local SEO, but before I come on and maybe why he called me, the Bistro completely vanished from the Carousel. It had been there for years. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not. At that time there was a G+ page for the wine bar, but he didn't know where it came from. I claimed it. There was also a Yelp account that was already getting reviews for the wine bar. The Bistro had been established for a long time so had good presence throughout the localsphere.

The first red flag for me was that both restaurants are at the same address. They each had different phone numbers, however. He told me that the post office issued 4 different addresses for that location and so I told him he needed to start putting in the suite number wherever he listed the address in ads from that time forward. I went to work with citation building and corrected the address at the same time. I tried and tried to get the suite number in G+ to stick and couldn't. I finally reported a problem to Google. They called the owner and he proved to them he did legally have a different address. The next day the suite number shows up in G+.

But still neither restaurant showed up in the Carousel.

I finished the website for the bistro and optimized the G+ page and website for keywords "breakfast, brunch and lunch." Now if you search for brunch and breakfast restaurant Saratoga, ca the bistro comes up 1 and 2, but not at all for lunch and the restaurants that do come up might be 20 miles away.

Someone else did the wine bar website. He allowed indexing on the site under construction as it still show up in Google's index. There is probably a duplicate content filter going on as a result. I'm working on getting that fixed.

Searching just on restaurant you'll see neither restaurant unless you zoom way in on the map. Yet you will see other restaurants on the map maybe 10 miles away.

Saratoga, is a tiny little downtown where the city center is. These restaurants are almost smack dab on the city center. The bistro has far fewer reviews than the 5 star restaurants on the main drag, but they have more than others that are on the map and showing. The winebar is new so there are no G+ reviews yet, but they have 18 Yelp reviews.

If you query the address in Google, you will find the address without the suite number for the winebar because there are old ads, press, and event listings for old events that may be there forever.

So is there a Google penalty here over what they think is an attempt to duplicate a listing even though Google turned on the switch for the suite number addition?

The plan is to continue on as I would with any local business - review aquisition, citation building, etc. and maybe we'll trigger a kiss from Google eventually, but I'd much rather get this love affair going now if I can.

The restaurants in question are Bell Tower Bistro and Santorini Wine & Beer Garden in Saratoga, CA.

Care to weigh in?
Last edited by a moderator:
Just re-reading and found an error. Didn't mean to say he'd been in Carousel for years. He had been showing in Maps for years.
I hope this helps.

I was able to bring both locations up on maps but the wine garden I had to search for the full name and city and state

santorini wine and beer garden saratoga ca

I've noticed this kind of thing in the past when it's a newer listing and hasn't aged, sometimes you have to include the full address.

It also looks like you got some work to do on the website end for Santorini's and getting it connected to the +Local

Also, because it's essentially sharing the same space and "address" as the the bell tower,
you want to ask yourself does Santorinis have it's own entrance or do you have to walk through The Bell Tower to get to it?

At least under the guidelines I have to follow when it comes to doing the Google virtual tours for businesses, as long as it has it's own unique Name, Address, Phone number, +Local page and more importantly it's own business entrance, it's legit. There was one time I was able to do a virtual tour without having it's own business entrance but Google questioned it, eventually it was allowed since there were two different business owners and I was able to prove that to Google.
Interesting Louis. The thing that makes this so hard for me is that he keeps "combining" these businesses. He turned a back building into a Tea Room and it has a legal mailbox, but everyone has to go through the front door of Bell Tower. That confuses everyone! They're always lost and people are actually writing bad reviews as a result. He does lock the Bell Tower to force diners around to the side gate to get to Santorini. But lunch patrons can eat on the Santorini patio during the day. And I just found an ad in Eventbrite that has a Santorini title but then says it's at Bell Tower and the suite number is missing. The cleanup never ends.

I took a picture of the front entrace the other day that shows Santorini's mailbox. Maybe I'll make that their G+ picture and then try to get Google to take notice. :) And I wonder if getting a virtual tour would help. Are you in the Silicon Valley by any chance?

You mentioned the Santorini website.The problem with that site is the theme is so horrible that I can't add anything other than what's in those boxes on the home page unless I recode the theme. (I did not build this website!) I can't even drop in social icons without major effort. So now I'm waiting to get approval on the additional cost to fix it. And I'm mentioning that so that small business owners who might be reading this can understand how important it is to choose a reputable, experienced professional when you start building out your online presence.
No, I am way down in san diego. But there are plenty of guys and gals up there in your area who can help you with the google virtual tour info. You can find them on the official google maps website.

Yeah being able to quickly make those edits is key. I've seen many of those types of scenarios and worse. It boils down to really being honest with the customer and showing them the reality even though they may fear it at first. Once they start to see results, you quickly become #1 in their book.

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