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    Exact & Partial KWs in Map Rankings


    Hey guys,

    Really need some Local SEO advice. As I've mentioned before, I work for a Franchise with over 200 locations. We do well organically, but we are suffering when it comes to ranking in the Local Pack (aka Map Pack).
    I have done everything from increase our social media presence, link build, increase our site speed, get reviews (we avg. 4.9 stars), add schema, etc..and while we have seen significant growth organically, the needle has barely moved for map results.

    The only thing I have been able to determine, is that within our industry, most of our competitors have the keywords we try to rank for in their business name. This isn't a new discovery, and it's one I've been well aware of. I'm just beyond frustrated that it holds to much weight when it comes to rankings.
    Some of our competitors are gaming the system, and adding KWs to their DBA. I've reported them, but with over 200 locations, that would be a 24/7 job if I tried reporting everyone - lol.

    In any case, has anyone else had the same issues, and found something that worked for them? I literally have competitors with exact match keywords in their DBA rank #1, and they don't even have a website and 0 reviews! You would think Google would have fixed this part of their algorithm by now!
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    This was just published today - https://www.seroundtable.com/google-...ank-24108.html

    As far as I know there's nothing wrong as such with changing your domain name to whatever you like.
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    Originally Posted by IvanDrago
    As far as I know, there's nothing wrong as such with changing your domain name to whatever you like.
    But also, you should be aware that there is an EMD penalty that you need to be on the look out for.
    You do your business I do mine because you are you and I am I If we meet it is nice.
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    I think I'm being misunderstood. I'm talking about Google My Business listings, and I'm referring to how companies display their business names. So, if someone searches for a carpet cleaner, a bunch of carpet cleaners will come up in the map results on Google. One of those results that rank at the top might say "Tom's Carpet Cleaners." This company has no website, and no reviews, yet ranks #1 in map results.

    That's the kind of crap I'm dealing with, and wanted to see if anyone has figured out a way to get around this?
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    This can happen when the company has a GMB listing but no website. Note you do not have to have a website for a GMB listing, it's optional.

    Most businesses ( brick and mortar ) that don't have a website use Yellowpages, Yelp Yext Angie's List and other such sites and also garner reviews from those folks. Also note that a lot of us believe that Google Reviews and other reviews play a part in the ranking also, but I personally think Google Reviews are given more weight.

    Try adding geo-targeting terms to your keywords... and "Get Some Google Reviews", then add ld+json rich snippets to display the Starred Ratings in the search results.,

    Using your example ...
    Instead of Tom's Carpet cleaners try Tallahassee Carpet Cleaners

    I think you get my meaning.
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    Good tips, but still doesn't resolve my issue :/

    1. Most of our reviews are from Google, and most of the competitors beating us have far fewer reviews..I'm talking 5 Google Reviews to our 150 for some locations..and our average star ranking is 4.9

    2. I'm not sure how rich snippets are going to help in Map Results? Maybe there's a misunderstanding again of my issue? However, we do plan on added aggregated star ratings as a snippet, but Google Guidelines say we can't use third party reviews, as of September last year I think? Instead, we have to build on-site reviews, which we are in the process of gathering..since all of our reviews came from third parties.

    3. From my understanding, when you create a Google My Business account, your business name has to match what's on your Business License. Google even requires pictures of a store front now, if you have an actual location. So if my business name is Tom's Carpet, I can't change it to Tallahassee Carpet Cleaners, unless I want to risk suspension.

    That being said, could I change it to Tom's Carpet Cleaners / Tallahassee? Have you ever tried something like that?
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    Hi cbmorales04

    I am going to address Items 1 & 2 first

    It is most important for you to implement aggregate ratings from Google asap. It will only look at your Google ratings anyway. Do not add this code to every page on your site at once. Most importantly do not put it on your home page ! Googles Rules.
    You need to wait a week or two before adding it to another page, so if you have a 10 page site, it may take you a month or two. Again Google's rules.
    Sooner you get started the faster you will complete the job.

    Citations on other sites in my opinion also play a part in who ranks (first) and in the map pack. Don't worry about trying to get Google to notice them, they already have I bet. This opinion is partial based on the following (see picture ) also the fact I have see some instances where a low ranked page 1 site say 7 or 8 or 9 pop up into the map pack when starred ratings were implemented on the page.

    I would only post a few reviews on the site to boost user confidence, but understand that Google will not take them into account.

    Source for the below -->> https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091


    Now for #3

    I was under the impression that Tom's Carpet Cleaners was you competition and for example purposes was using Tallahassee. I was suggesting you should target the keyword "Tallahassee carpet cleaners". The only folks that would be searching that is someone familiar with that business, where as most in my opinion would be search for 'carpet cleaners tallahassee, or carpet cleaners in tallahassee, or carpet cleaners near me.

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    I have a 3,000 page site with 204 location pages, and each location has 10 pages of unique content. Each one also have their own reviews..so....it's a lot. Also carpet cleaning is just an example, not my competitor or industry, so sorry for the confusion.


    While I want to agree with everything you've said, I've seen other sites drop in rankings after using 3rd party reviews for their aggregate ratings. It's no longer allowed for rich snippets. I do look forward to adding them, once we've collected more on-site reviews. See here: Google updates local reviews schema guidelines


    We also use Yext for our citations (not my first choice), and I handle local citations in house. We really have a lot of things buttoned up, but these really crappy competitors still beat us in Map Results.


    To be specific, we are in the restoration industry, and our biggest money maker is mold removal/remediation. Here is an example of what I'm dealing with. Below are the top 3 map results for "mold removal miami":

    1. Mold Remediation, Inc (no website, no physical location, only 2 reviews)
    2. Miami Mold Specalist (website, physical location, 193 reviews)
    3. Mold Removal Miami LLC (website, no physical location, no reviews)

    This is what I mean when I say that Keywords in the DBA seem to matter more than everything else. You have 2 companies, 1 & 3, that shouldn't even be there IMO. But just because they have a partial or exact match of the KWs in their company name, they get listed.
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    Originally Posted by cbmorales04
    I've seen other sites drop in rankings after using 3rd party reviews for their aggregate ratings. It's no longer allowed for rich snippets.
    Yes, you're quite right about that. I suggested implement Aggregate Google, not any other reviews ...
    Don't fudge the numbers either.... Google will know!
    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    It is most important for you to implement aggregate ratings from Google asap. It will only look at your Google ratings anyway.
    .....
    .....
    Citations on other sites in my opinion also play a part in who ranks (first) and in the map pack. Don't worry about trying to get Google to notice them, they already have I bet
    Here I am meaning Yelp, Yext, and any others you can think of. These directors are legit businesses and do not promote other sites, so to speak. They drive traffic and therefore are considered, such as it is, good directories not bad directories. This is just my opinion, mind you, but it works for me.

    So work on getting more Google Reviews, don't concentrate to much on including user reviews on the site, as I said Google doesn't count them, but as I also said they can boost user confidence in the site.
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Yes, you're quite right about that. I suggested implement Aggregate Google, not any other reviews ...
    Don't fudge the numbers either.... Google will know!

    Here I am meaning Yelp, Yext, and any others you can think of. These directors are legit businesses and do not promote other sites, so to speak. They drive traffic and therefore are considered, such as it is, good directories not bad directories. This is just my opinion, mind you, but it works for me.

    So work on getting more Google Reviews, don't concentrate to much on including user reviews on the site, as I said Google doesn't count them, but as I also said they can boost user confidence in the site.
    Thanks! Just to confirm, are you saying Google Reviews don't count as third party reviews? I've had other SEO's tell me I can't use aggregate Google Reviews, I must collect and use on-site reviews per the new guidelines? Sorry for the back and forth - I'm just a bit confused.
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    Originally Posted by cbmorales04
    Just to confirm, are you saying Google Reviews don't count as third party reviews? I've had other SEO's tell me I can't use aggregate Google Reviews,
    1. Anyone telling you that you can't do this is full of bs, and are not Up - To - Date with SEO . Stay far away from those folks. !

    2. Put this code just before the </body> tag on your page you want the ratings to show for ... review count is your total google reviews, and the rating value is your 5 star rating, wait 2 to 3 weeks.
    This code is totally invisible to the user and is the recommend method to do this by Google.

    Remember do not add to every page all at once, NEVER NEVER PUT IT ON YOUR HOME PAGE ! These are Google's Rules,, follow them !

    The rich snippet, ld+json code is just for telling Google "Hey Google this is my review count of google reviews and the avg 5 star rating, please Google show my star rating in the serps"

    Code:
    <script type="application/ld+json">
     { "@context": "http://schema.org",
     "@type": "Product",
      "name": "Your Product Name",
      "aggregateRating":
     {"@type": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "5",
     "reviewCount": "6"
    }
    }
    </script>
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Jul 10th, 2017 at 09:09 PM.
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    Local directories should work fine. I don`t believe you safely post in GMB and get in first page in other states. However, with enough ammountof social and other signals from different places, different kw you probably can. I work mainly with local business btw
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    This directly from Google's guidelines:


    • Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third- party sites or syndicated reviews.


    Based on that rule, do you not view google reviews as a third party? Or are you saying you just haven't been dinged for it yet?
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    Ok, how many ways do I have to say this... let me try it this way so you understand.

    l. To leave a Google Review you have to login or create a google account.. One of the ways that Google validates the review. It really does not matter how the person got to the link. Me, I put a link to leave a review in the footer, make it no follow.

    2. This is just my opinion, but I do believe it's accurate!
    Google does not consider reviews left on Google about your Business / Services to be a "Third Party Review". Google considers reviews on Yelp, Yext, etc, etc to be "Third Party Reviews". Why, because Google can't verify them as not generated for manipulation. The good sites , Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie's List and other sites like them have earned a reputation as being honest sites and you will see serps with starred ratings for these directories.
    Google will not count a review you post on your site, why, because Google can't verify it, see you can post any kind of review you want. You could game the system that way if Google did count reviews you post on your site.

    3. The rich snippet supports Aggregating Google Reviews and some third party review systems, see url posted later. Why would they tell you how to do it, provide the code, and tell you to add it to one page at a time and not the whole site nor not to post it on your home page, if they did not want you to use it?????

    4. You want to improve your ctr, and your ability to enter the map pack, then "Implement Aggregating Google Reviews"

    5. Finally Go read this ! -->> https://developers.google.com/search...-types/reviews
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Ok, how many ways do I have to say this... let me try it this way so you understand.

    l. To leave a Google Review you have to login or create a google account.. One of the ways that Google validates the review. It really does not matter how the person got to the link. Me, I put a link to leave a review in the footer, make it no follow.

    2. This is just my opinion, but I do believe it's accurate!
    Google does not consider reviews left on Google about your Business / Services to be a "Third Party Review". Google considers reviews on Yelp, Yext, etc, etc to be "Third Party Reviews". Why, because Google can't verify them as not generated for manipulation. The good sites , Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie's List and other sites like them have earned a reputation as being honest sites and you will see serps with starred ratings for these directories.
    Google will not count a review you post on your site, why, because Google can't verify it, see you can post any kind of review you want. You could game the system that way if Google did count reviews you post on your site.

    3. The rich snippet supports Aggregating Google Reviews and some third party review systems, see url posted later. Why would they tell you how to do it, provide the code, and tell you to add it to one page at a time and not the whole site nor not to post it on your home page, if they did not want you to use it?????

    4. You want to improve your ctr, and your ability to enter the map pack, then "Implement Aggregating Google Reviews"

    5. Finally Go read this ! -->> https://developers.google.com/search...-types/reviews
    Fair enough - I just think we have a difference of opinion on this. I talk to a lot of experts in the industry, and even places like Moz & GetFiveStars say Google is considered a third party - all recommend collecting and using on-site reviews. But hey....I know someone that uses trustpilot, and is still going strong.

    https://www.getfivestars.com/blog/go...ew-guidelines/

    https://moz.com/blog/the-complete-gu...imonials-pages

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