Can't Find New Company / Listing in Search results

I've recently (within 60 days) completed about 33 citations for a new client, a local HVAC business. His assistant is going over my citation spreadsheet with a fine tooth comb and noting all kinds of things that she feels are incomplete. They're really not - some of the missing things are logos (in citations that don't allow any extras until you upgrade) or additional categories (may require upgrade to list more than one).

The real question is why she can't find the company listed in a search - which has stymied me for a while as well. I've seen this happen in Yellowbot and Hotfrog, and probably a few others.

What is at issue here? Age of the listing? Algorithms specific to different citations? Pay-for-play? I have direct links to the completed listings but can't locate them using either the exact company name or a generic search like HVAC + city.

Thank you!
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Staff member
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Are you talking about doing a branded Google search or asking about them showing up in Google Maps?

Also, if you're able to provide the business name & location via PM or post here then we can look into it.
 
Thanks Eric.
I'm not talking about Google search, but search within specific citations for a company name and/or the service category + city/state.

Ideal Air LLC
air conditioning repair andover mn
HVAC andover mn

Hotfrog is an example. I have a claimed listing but can't get the company to come up in either branded or unbranded search.

https://www.hotfrog.com/business/mn/andover/ideal-air_43419902

In Brownbook, my search using (Ideal Air LLC) returned an unclaimed version of the listing, http://www.brownbook.net/business/44344662/ideal-air-llc (#4 in the SERP below)
http://www.brownbook.net/businesses/?tag=Ideal+Air+LLC

even though the listing is fully claimed:
http://www.brownbook.net/business/44506618/ideal-air-llc

If I search for HVAC Andover (they are listed in the HVAC category and andover is a location tag), they don't show up. Frustrating and hard to explain to the client.
 
The simple answer is that directory search algorithms are absolutely terrible.

Many times they can't even find exact match branded searches, which is ludicrous. So there's no reason to expect them to be able to accurately rank local businesses based on quality.

Ranking on directories (besides maybe Yelp) is unimportant and a waste of time. How you can relay this to her is that no one actually searches these directories. She'll inevitably ask, "Then why are we on them?". Your answer is that because the more business listings Google sees that you have, the higher you rank. The full answer is a little more complicated than that but don't confuse her. Just give her that simple response and help her understand your job is Google.

She's focused on the wrong thing. She needs to be focused on the Google ranking where everyone is searching. Not ranking on Hotfrog or Brownbook where no one is.

If she gives you push back, tell her you can only focus on ranking well on one place at a time. Does she want her boss to rank well on Hotfrog and Brownbook or on Google?

She's probably under a lot of pressure to prove to her boss she does something worth paying her for. In this case, if you just educate her on what's most important and frame it well, she will probably back down.

You've got this. Don't acquiesce to taking valuable time to correct logos and small items like that. She's killing the SEO by doing that and wasting her boss's money.
 
Joshua, Thank you, and I agree wholeheartedly. She is a micro-managing type and this is driving me nuts.

My draft response basically tells her what you said - Google vs these listings. Pick one. I wanted a little extra ammunition about the random quality of the algos, which you've affirmed.

She has the logins for everything via the spreadsheet I sent and can do these things herself - like adding a comma before LLC on all the listings!

Incidentally, I did this small citation job for basically half my regular price, because I had done their new web site and knew that they had a tight budget as a new business. I emphasized the importance of building the local listing profile in order to get noticed by Google, and to get a tiny leg up on initial SEO efforts. Hoping to gain trust and get more SEO work once they had a budget established.

The work was completed two months ago and now she suddenly mentions these things, saying the invoice will be paid once she understands everything. Love clients.

Ok, thanks for reaffirming my basic understanding and letting me vent for a second!
 
To add to Joshua, the main point of citations is to give the Google algorithm more validation that the business is indeed real and located at that address.

Google wants to deliver good results to its users (that's how it stays #1). The more information it can find, the better the algorithm can trust that the information it has is correct. The way I envision it is that basically each citation adds trust points for the algo. At a certain point, the algo caps out as it has enough citation trust points.

Except for main/popular directories, the addition of any information on those citation pages is for the consumption of the algorithm and generally not for people.

What you need to focus on, instead of trying to find the target page using the directory search, is to make sure that the page is indexed by Google.

Using your example page of:
Ideal Air, LLC, Andover MN - Indoor Air Quality | Hotfrog US


is not indexed in Google (yet):
site:Ideal Air, LLC, Andover MN - Indoor Air Quality | Hotfrog US



If Google does not know (or care about) the page to index it, then it is essentially useless.

Also, looks like you are using the same or similar text with many of your citations:
"Ideal Air is a locally owned and operated full-service HVAC contractor" - Google Search

Changing the text takes longer, but definitely helps Google from filtering out the page due to duplication of content.
 
I think other posters have done a great job at backing up what you already suspected - focus on Google.

To add to Yan's point on getting citations indexed, Darren Shaw wrote a piece earlier this year about how to get encourage Google to find and index them (section titled "Get Your Citations Indexed"). I can't vouch that it works but I like the idea!
 
Joshua, Thank you, and I agree wholeheartedly. She is a micro-managing type and this is driving me nuts.

My draft response basically tells her what you said - Google vs these listings. Pick one. I wanted a little extra ammunition about the random quality of the algos, which you've affirmed.

She has the logins for everything via the spreadsheet I sent and can do these things herself - like adding a comma before LLC on all the listings!

Incidentally, I did this small citation job for basically half my regular price, because I had done their new web site and knew that they had a tight budget as a new business. I emphasized the importance of building the local listing profile in order to get noticed by Google, and to get a tiny leg up on initial SEO efforts. Hoping to gain trust and get more SEO work once they had a budget established.

The work was completed two months ago and now she suddenly mentions these things, saying the invoice will be paid once she understands everything. Love clients.

Ok, thanks for reaffirming my basic understanding and letting me vent for a second!
Ouch, that sucks. I wouldn't call it a bad idea to fire them honestly with the details you've provided. I'm not saying do it, as there are a lot of factors to consider in a decision like. I guess I'm just saying that so you know you're not alone and you're in the right.

Keep it up!
 

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