Lapse in listing management service = complete ranking loss forever?

Wondering if anyone else has ever seen this. I've seen two separate instances where listing services were temporarily cancelled/lapsed, and the website associated with the account completely fell out of the maps pack (after previously being in the top spots for most keywords)

One instance involved the client wanting to cancel the listing service (MOZ Local in this case) and changed their mind at a later date.

Another instance involved a billing issue where the account was temporarily suspended due to a billing issue (MOZ local and Yext in this case)

In both cases, nothing else on the website was changed, and in both cases, the listing services were reactivated. However, even after reactivating these services, I have not seen either website even get close to ranking where they once were.

I know that Moz local in particular takes 8 weeks to update some of the listings, but it has been well past this amount of time, and both websites are several pages out in the maps results. I did encounter an issue (seemingly affecting all Moz local account), where the Acxiom listing would show as updated, but the website was not linked due to an error after a recent change in the url suffix - Moz local's support staff insists this has now been fixed, but I can't help but think something is "stuck" with the Moz local accounts...would love to hear if anyone has ever seen or heard of anything like this before?
 
Wondering if anyone else has ever seen this. I've seen two separate instances where listing services were temporarily cancelled/lapsed, and the website associated with the account completely fell out of the maps pack (after previously being in the top spots for most keywords)

One instance involved the client wanting to cancel the listing service (MOZ Local in this case) and changed their mind at a later date.

Another instance involved a billing issue where the account was temporarily suspended due to a billing issue (MOZ local and Yext in this case)

In both cases, nothing else on the website was changed, and in both cases, the listing services were reactivated. However, even after reactivating these services, I have not seen either website even get close to ranking where they once were.

I know that Moz local in particular takes 8 weeks to update some of the listings, but it has been well past this amount of time, and both websites are several pages out in the maps results. I did encounter an issue (seemingly affecting all Moz local account), where the Acxiom listing would show as updated, but the website was not linked due to an error after a recent change in the url suffix - Moz local's support staff insists this has now been fixed, but I can't help but think something is "stuck" with the Moz local accounts...would love to hear if anyone has ever seen or heard of anything like this before?
I honestly wouldn't think this would be an issue and is related to something else instead. But that is odd.

Without looking at a ranking report of sometime with historical evidence though, we would just be shooting in the dark here.
 
Hi Devon!
This is Miriam from Moz. Hopefully, you’ll get feedback from multiple folks here at the Local Search Forum, but I thought it might be helpful if I added a few thoughts here.

First, I want to clarify that Moz Local is not a ranking-related service - it’s a data distribution service. Google local pack rankings are based on hundreds of potential factors, and role of citations in rankings is just one of many.

I also want to mention that, when you cancel with Moz Local:
-We stop sending data about your business to the aggregators
-Each listing platform has its own policy governing what they do when a listing becomes unmanaged. In some cases, a listing can revert to its pre-managed status. In other cases, it could lose some of the rich data you’ve added.
-You’re always able to re-claim listings as your own to edit them.
-Duplicate listings you’ve removed via Moz Local should remain permanently removed.
-We never tell partners to take your listings down or anything like that.

I can’t speak for Yext, but Whitespark has done some good work explaining what happens if you cancel with them (see: What Happens When You Cancel Yext? - Whitespark )

Finally, just from my own personal experience, I would suggest doing a full competitive audit of the two clients whose rankings have dropped. I’d be very surprised if listing management status was the cause of this and what you’ve observed may well just be coincidental timing. I totally get it that you’ve mentioned that nothing else has changed on your end, but local SERPs are constantly changing because of what competitors are doing, and what Google is doing in terms of ongoing updates and filters. In case it helps, we have a blog post on the Moz Blog about conducting competitive local business audits (see: How to Perform a Basic Local Business Competitive Audit - Moz) and I’d pay special attention to what competitors may be doing, and also, whether ranking drops correlate with any known Google updates or filters.

Please, feel free to reach out to our Helpsters at help@moz.com again if you feel you are having an ongoing issue with Acxiom.
 

JoyHawkins

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Devon,

Are you able to post the details of the business you're referring to so we can see if something else is going on here?
 
ditto the above. not enough info to determine exact cause.

most of the time when you cancel with a provider your information doesn't just disappear so it would be a gradual decline in rankings, not a sudden event....that's also if you're doing absolutely nothing to counter the cancellation or haven't done any directory work in the past outside of the service.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Was the keyword you wanted to rank for "plumbing las vegas"? If so, that's going to be very difficult because the business is actually in Paradise, not Vegas. They rank for just "plumber" when searched from their zip code as 3rd for me. The first one ranking in the 3-pack should actually be removed because it's an unverified listing without an address on it (not allowed per Maps guidelines). If this were my client that would be my first action item :)
 
Yes, and the fact that they are not technically in Google's radius was discussed. For the record I don't see either the target website or the unverified profiles coming up in any of the related terms in 3 pack.

The part that doesn't make sense is this - they were nowhere to be found (for several pages out) in maps and then suddenly started showing in the 3 pack right around the time moz local listings went live (specifically once the Acxiom listing went live). they remained there for a year for several major keywords, then when the billing failed to go through and the listing management lapsed, they immediately fell out of the maps pack and have been virtually invisible ever since.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Devon,

This is the link to the search results page I was looking at. If you open it in an incognito tab you should see the same thing as me. I see them as 4th on the list.

I haven't heard of anyone ever having a ranking drop after cancelling with Moz because usually the information still sticks around (Here is the article Phil Rozek wrote on that).

Anything is possible of course. I did once have a client whose ranking tanked when he signed up with Yext. After analyzing it, I discovered it was because Yext synced up with GMB and changed his primary category. The one it changed to was not the right one he needed to rank.

If you haven't done this already, I'd also double-check to see if the ranking drop coincides with any algorithm updates.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Devon,

I had my search location set to their zip code. If you see something different it's likely Google's using the zip code that they think you're in. You can confirm this by scrolling way to the bottom of the search results and it should list where Google thinks you are.
plumber las vegas.png
 

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