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I have had a recent drastic rankings drop. Other competitors / same industry don't seem to have changed. The only change that I've made include two blog posts about how covid impacted our industry.

But I noticed today that my zip code has been changed. I know this was correct before -- I have screen shots. Two numbers were flipped. I didn't make this change.

Questions:

--could a competitor change my zip code without my knowledge?

--would this impact rankings massively?

--I'm scared to correct bc of possible suspension, plus there is a warning that says edits might not happen bc of covid-19. Should I correct and will the correction happen?

--should I delete those two covid-19 posts? If I did, how would show Google that blog posts are gone, other than resubmitting the home page, which links to those posts, to GSC?

I realize that maybe this is just a quirk with Google. But since competition hasn't suffered, I'm trying to plan what I might do if this doesn't go back to normal.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

austins36

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If the zip code was changed and you can confirm that then that would more than likely be the issue. People can request changes for your GMB Listing but it must be approved by Google, I'm pretty sure it should notify you upon these situations but I'm unsure.

Zipcodes are important with Google my business listings because they help better determine where your business is located and where you service. So if you change the zip code it will have beneficial or negative effects.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert on these things but I am learning and I see no one has replied, so maybe this might help? If anyone would like to correct or add to what I said please feel free to do so.
 

Cherie Dickey

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Hi!

Yes, the zip code change could be the culprit, and yes anyone can request a change as a user. You should be notified and asked to approve of the change, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Is the zip code correct on your website, as well as other directories? I'd double check that.

NAP updates are taking a while, but I would still try to get the zip code updated. Just submitting that one update, once, shouldn't cause a suspension. If the edit doesn't go through after a few days, then I would submit again - once. Normally I'd say to reach out to support if it still doesn't push through, but that may not be an option right now. Also, if the listing is suspended for some reason, there are options to have it reinstated. I wouldn't let that possibility stop you from correcting bad information.

Regarding the COVID posts... I guess that would depend on the content of those posts. Are they on your website? Or on the GMB? In any case, I would work on getting your zip code updated before removing them since that's most likely the issue.
 
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Hi!

Yes, the zip code change could be the culprit, and yes anyone can request a change as a user. You should be notified and asked to approve of the change, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Is the zip code correct on your website, as well as other directories? I'd double check that.

NAP updates are taking a while, but I would still try to get the zip code updated. Just submitting that one update, once, shouldn't cause a suspension. If the edit doesn't go through after a few days, then I would submit again - once. Normally I'd say to reach out to support if it still doesn't push through, but that may not be an option right now. Also, if the listing is suspended for some reason, there are options to have it reinstated. I wouldn't let that possibility stop you from correcting bad information.

Regarding the COVID posts... I guess that would depend on the content of those posts. Are they on your website? Or on the GMB? In any case, I would work on getting your zip code updated before removing them since that's most likely the issue.


Thank you. A lot changed since I wrote this post.

First I realized that I have had only the zip code wrong since last year (two numbers flipped at the end -- essentially a typo, but has existed since last November). And I'm normally very OCD about NAP and all other listing details, which otherwise haven't changed. So my guess, which could be wrong, is that wasn't the problem.

I'm still nervous about a suspension bc we went through one before. We were able to get it reinstated but it was a huge pain.

My rank also went back up after I deleted the covid blog post, about how covid is affecting our industry. But that was at the same time as a fluctuation in local.

To further confuse matters, a couple of days ago, I republished that blog post, but with shorter content. Within literally a few hours, after submitting that post to GSC, my rank went down again. Last time I deleted the post with a 410 code. This time I redirected. So I'm hoping that will fix the new problem.

And this could still all be totally unrelated bc there's been more reported flux in local results, coincidentally.

Not exactly the way I wanted to go into another weekend but that's where we are.
 
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