JoshuaMackens

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My vote goes to local.

Do a search for "chiropractor chattanooga tn" or something along those lines.

You will see this website show up:

northshorechiro(dot)net

Look how high they rank organically. So, it's got to be either backlinks or content that is driving their ranking (or both of course). Look at their homepage, "chiropractor" isn't even mentioned on the homepage (mind blown #1) although LSi "chiropractic" is of course. "Chattanooga" is mentioned once (mind blow #1.5) and then the title tag has neither "Chattanooga" nor "chiropractor" mentioned at all (mind blown #2).

This homepage is so unoptimized it's not even funny.

Yet, they're actually beating out one of my clients in the area that has a well optimized homepage and backlinks from an 80+ DA health website, another 60+ DA health website, and 2-3 more 40+ DA health websites.

How?

The only thing I can see is they have one hyper, hyper local backlink from a website that features a part of Chattanooga called North Shore. I believe it's northshore(dot)com that provides the link. All the other backlinks I can find aren't really anything to write home about, much less give enough juice to beat out my client.

So, is that one hyper local backlink really crushing it that much?

Seems so.

There's two types of backlink relevancy for Local SEO: local and industry. And it seems like local is crushing industry.

Any thoughts/research/further digging is definitely welcome.
 

Blake Denman

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How long has the competitor been in business and how long has your client?

And how long ago did you do the onsite SEO and build links?

I ran into a similar issue with a veterinarian. Beating their competition everywhere, and was able to get all hyperlocal links, including a sweet meetup sponsorship, yet this competitor still beats them both in maps and organic.

GMB support mentioned that my client's site had not been linked to Maps for very long. MM shows nearly 5 years, competitor nearly 8. So this might be a contributing factor, but they weren't able to confirm that is the actual reason.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Client has been in business for close to 3x as long as the competitor.

Our onsite SEO was done before he even had a website. Backlinks are 6+ months ago or so.

For your vet, being connected for a lesser amount of time would make sense for map rankings, but not explain them outranking you organically. But I'm going to assume if they've been around longer on GMB, they've been around longer with their website as well, which might be the issue in your situation.

In your situation, does the competitor have local backlinks? Or any backlinks?
 

Blake Denman

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Client has been in business for close to 3x as long as the competitor.

Our onsite SEO was done before he even had a website. Backlinks are 6+ months ago or so.

For your vet, being connected for a lesser amount of time would make sense for map rankings, but not explain them outranking you organically. But I'm going to assume if they've been around longer on GMB, they've been around longer with their website as well, which might be the issue in your situation.

In your situation, does the competitor have local backlinks? Or any backlinks?

Competitor has a few local backlinks, all of which we were able to get as well. They do have some backlinks that we don't. My client doesn't take insurance and this competitor has 2, which gives him a few dofollows, but these sites DA are mid 30's.

"Our onsite SEO was done before he even had a website." How long ago did you launch the site and build the links? Did he have a previous domain that you 301'd to the new domain?
 

Tony Wang

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That's definitely a strange one, but I don't think just that one hyper local link is doing it, especially in such a competitive niche as chiro. Also, when I do the search, North Shore is ranked #2 organically, so that hyper local link shouldn't cause that.

But I agree, that link profile, age, website, etc, don't seem to justify that ranking. Must be some voodoo.

I'm seeing something similar when I search "dentist mckinney tx". Laura Standefer outranks several others that seem to me much more powerful, both organic and local. Nothing outstanding about her, not many links, in fact, some of them look pretty spammy; newest practice by far, not many reviews...

Any witch doctors able to shed some light?
 
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Hey Guys,

I hope i can shed some light on this matter.

So Joshua, I took a deeper look on that website you mentioned (.net) plus the rest of the top 3 organic websites.

I was able to verify that their website is blocking some of the robots and also they have a few PBN domains pointing to them, it also seems like whoever is doing thier SEO is using some blackhat/grayhat techniques as I was able to verify that by cross searching for their domain/mentioning of their keywords on some 9 domains "locally" pointing a dofollow link from their home page at (20+ DA / 35+CF) to them.

On top of that all 9 domains are dofollow to www.domain and not domain.net which sometimes when you use the tools you will obviously look at the result that is shown in search, which in this case its without www.

Their on-page is garbage, and their website in my personal opinion is doomed to drop in rankings soon or later.

Either way, I would highly suggest concentrating on getting links from LOCAL business owners in chattanooga.

And for the topic what is considered "better" Industry or Local, when it comes to Local than there you go, the answer is Local :) always will be.

I do apologize upfront if i step on anyone's thoughts, but thats just what I see on daily basis with all of our Local clients...

I do hope that i was able to shed a little light on your client's matter.
 

Tony Wang

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Nice job Guy, looks like you uncovered the voodoo I was expecting. Just curious, but how do you discover those things (PBN's, etc), or is that a "dark arts" trade secret ;)

Also, any similar thoughts on the "dentist mckinney tx" search I mentioned regarding standeferdds.com?
 
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Hey Tony,

No dark arts involved :) lol

Simply some tools we developed in-house to find out things that Majestic, SEMrush and Ahrefs wont or can't show.

Anyhow I connected to a local host in McKinney to get the best real results and Lauren's site is ranked #4, if you compare her website to all the sites in the top 10 she is doing ok, not more than ok.

Nothing that a few solid local links can't fix for your client assuming he is already in the top 10.

2016-08-01_13h55_12.jpg

Its actually clear as a day why its there and why each website ranks where its at, those sites are up to #7 without the directories which i find extremely easy to pass in rankings.

Let me know if this helps.

2016-08-01_13h55_12.jpg
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hey Guys,

I hope i can shed some light on this matter.

So Joshua, I took a deeper look on that website you mentioned (.net) plus the rest of the top 3 organic websites.

I was able to verify that their website is blocking some of the robots and also they have a few PBN domains pointing to them, it also seems like whoever is doing thier SEO is using some blackhat/grayhat techniques as I was able to verify that by cross searching for their domain/mentioning of their keywords on some 9 domains "locally" pointing a dofollow link from their home page at (20+ DA / 35+CF) to them.

On top of that all 9 domains are dofollow to www.domain and not domain.net which sometimes when you use the tools you will obviously look at the result that is shown in search, which in this case its without www.

Their on-page is garbage, and their website in my personal opinion is doomed to drop in rankings soon or later.

Either way, I would highly suggest concentrating on getting links from LOCAL business owners in chattanooga.

And for the topic what is considered "better" Industry or Local, when it comes to Local than there you go, the answer is Local :) always will be.

I do apologize upfront if i step on anyone's thoughts, but thats just what I see on daily basis with all of our Local clients...

I do hope that i was able to shed a little light on your client's matter.

Hey Guy,

Thanks for taking a look.

Would you mind PM'ing me a few of those PBN links you found? I couldn't find them myself.

I thought maybe they were using PBN links which is why they wouldn't show up in ahrefs or majestic but looking at the lack of homepage optimization I figured there was no way.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hey Joshua,

I didn't save it but the last one i remember is this:
Citrus A's Model A Ford Car Club

found 8 more like those, if its important i'll look again and send you.

I did a "site:" search on that domain for their keywords and couldn't find anything. I'm just trying to replicate your system to find what they're doing.

If it takes too much time don't worry about it.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Competitor has a few local backlinks, all of which we were able to get as well. They do have some backlinks that we don't. My client doesn't take insurance and this competitor has 2, which gives him a few dofollows, but these sites DA are mid 30's.

"Our onsite SEO was done before he even had a website." How long ago did you launch the site and build the links? Did he have a previous domain that you 301'd to the new domain?

They launched in 2011.

Links have been around for 6+ months, other predate that.

No previous domain I'm aware of except a few they did for marketing purposes that 301 to the correct domain.
 
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Hey Joshua,

Its not a big deal, its just in-house tools that we developed to help us find these type of things, and they happen a lot more than we tend to think.
 

Tony Wang

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Aren't effective PBN's at least supposed to be focused on related topics? A link from a Ford Car Club is just plain spam, I though Google had this kind of stuff figured out. More confirmation that they're so smart and so dumb at the same time :)
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hey Joshua,

Its not a big deal, its just in-house tools that we developed to help us find these type of things, and they happen a lot more than we tend to think.

Awesome, in that case, yes, I'd love to see that list :)

I tried to find the link you mentioned but couldn't find it.
 

JoyHawkins

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How long has the competitor been in business and how long has your client?

And how long ago did you do the onsite SEO and build links?

I ran into a similar issue with a veterinarian. Beating their competition everywhere, and was able to get all hyperlocal links, including a sweet meetup sponsorship, yet this competitor still beats them both in maps and organic.

GMB support mentioned that my client's site had not been linked to Maps for very long. MM shows nearly 5 years, competitor nearly 8. So this might be a contributing factor, but they weren't able to confirm that is the actual reason.
Blake,

How did you determine 5 years vs 8? MapMaker history generally only date back to 2012 so this peaked my interest.
 

JimFranco

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How long has the competitor been in business and how long has your client?

And how long ago did you do the onsite SEO and build links?

I ran into a similar issue with a veterinarian. Beating their competition everywhere, and was able to get all hyperlocal links, including a sweet meetup sponsorship, yet this competitor still beats them both in maps and organic.

GMB support mentioned that my client's site had not been linked to Maps for very long. MM shows nearly 5 years, competitor nearly 8. So this might be a contributing factor, but they weren't able to confirm that is the actual reason.

So the length of time a listing is in GM is a contributing factor to ranking ?
 
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