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Thread: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

  1. #1
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Let's reverse engineer the algo and do some group analysis, shall we?

    Play with me! This is going to be fun!
    (and informative!)

    If you find a competitor's listing that consistently ranks high and you can't figure out why. Post it here and let us tear it apart and help you look for clues.

    OR if you find just an odd search result that does not seem to make sense, post it here and we'll try to figure it out.

    OR if you find a listing WAY outside the proximity radius or from the next town over ranking... let's figure out how they are doing it.

    OR if you just find a #1 ranking site that seems to be doing lots of things RIGHT and THAT's why it ranks, post it here too - so we can all evaluate, learn and grow.

    If everyone chips in and either shares an example for the group to analyze OR shares your insights on the examples that are posted, I bet we can uncover lots of gold nugget ranking tips.

    To add your own "Why Ranks High" game piece to the mix - use this format.
    Just copy and fill in blanks to add a listing you want us to dig in and do some detective work on.

    Key phrase:
    Rank: (Specify organic rank or A spot blended, etc.)
    G+ Local link:
    Domain: (Please don't use a live link, only domain.com)

    Then add your analysis, questions or concerns about this listing and why it ranks.

    TWIST MY ARM... OK I'll START THE GAME!

    I have a couple in mind, but have a great one to start off with...
    See next post...
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  2. #2
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Why Ranks High? Game #1

    OK here's our 1st Local SEO game piece to dig into...

    Back story
    - I did consulting for a Seattle Chiropractor 2 years ago and we've stayed in touch so I know what a lot of his local competitors have done to try to rank and I know this is a dog-eat-dog competitive market. Some of these Chiros are pretty gray hat too. So I know how hard it is to get and stay on page one in this market.

    So Seattle Chiropractor is one of the main search results I watch when analyzing the algo.

    About a year ago a site came up from nowhere and it's ranked #1 pretty consistently ever since. AND it's the farthest from city center than any other page 1 maps listings. (Which I know is no longer a factor in blended, but still interesting to note.)

    Key phrase: Seattle Chiropractor
    Rank: A blended
    G+ Local link: Fremont Spine and Wellness - About - Google+
    Domain: fremontchiropractic.com
    Location: FAR from city center

    Click here to view full size They are marker A - the farthest from Seattle - as far north as you can get.

    GAME ON - WHY RANKS HIGH???

    G+ Local - no obvious violations or KW stuffing (unlike some competitors in this market)
    Reviews - 0 (Pretty sure they used to have a bunch - must have gotten whacked)
    Citations - very few (3 - 5 depending on how you count)

    So we know this is the blended algo for this KW, so citations and # of reviews should not play a part. And just to prove that to anyone that still doubts that blended is all about organic. This G+ Local page has ZERO reviews and only a handful of citations.

    So let's analyze on-site SEO.

    Seattle Chiropractor in title tag and description - check.

    Seattle Chiropractor in LOTS of H1, H2, H3s (Way more than that average SMB site. Maybe G really likes this???)

    No time to do thorough analysis right now but seems to be decent KW density.

    ODD? image alt alt="Seattle Chiropractor – Chiropractic -chiropractors" (Why negative for plural???)

    ODD? KW anchor link in top paragraph goes to wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractor

    Footer: Hcard

    Footer: KW anchor Link to Old Place page link and other review sites.

    Footer: All those social buttons have broken links - bad, G does not like borked links.

    I'm suspecting part of the success of this site is due to backlinks. I did a backlink comparison several months ago though and if I remember right they did not have the most and others on page one had more. I'll try to do a BL comparison later.

    NOTE: I need to stop here for now and take care of other biz. I'm sure there is more to analyze and learn from this one.

    COME PLAY WITH ME!

    What else do you see that's noteworthy, odd or just plain wrong?

    Why does Google love this listing so much?
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    OmegaMan is offline Member
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Key phrase: Chicago Locksmith
    Rank
    : ( A spot blended, )
    G+ Local link: https://plus.google.com/113892539871...14682850/about

    Domain: ( amazinglockservice.com )


    Uses AT&T yellow pages both PRINT & ONLINE. And maybe its me but most of the Chicago Locksmiths who rank on-line all have a YELLOW PAGE BOOK ad. I refuse to. but maube thats what Iam gonna have to do

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    Sharon is offline Member
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    I like this game!

    Any chance that having the official google photography of the inside of their facility could be boosting them? Has it been officially denied as a possible ranking factor for +Local?

    I'll play more later!

  5. #5
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
    I like this game!

    Any chance that having the official google photography of the inside of their facility could be boosting them? Has it been officially denied as a possible ranking factor for +Local?

    I'll play more later!
    EWWW! GOOD ONE Sharon! Name:  icon14.png
Views: 668
Size:  589 Bytes

    I only had time to spot check a few things and have to admit I didn't have time to be thorough. And I didn't even think of that right now. BUT back when I was 1st looking at this listing I remember wondering about that too. Hmmm...

    So GOOD ONE! Glad you like the game and thanks for playing!
    Come back and play some more when you get a chance.
    I'm sure others will be adding to this thread over time.
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  6. #6
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Quote Originally Posted by OmegaMan View Post
    Uses AT&T yellow pages both PRINT & ONLINE. And maybe its me but most of the Chicago Locksmiths who rank on-line all have a YELLOW PAGE BOOK ad. I refuse to. but maube thats what Iam gonna have to do
    Jose don't have time to dig into that one today. Hopefully one of our other members can.

    Just one quick thought. Not suggesting you get a Yellow Page site, but their advantage could be that they may have a bigger marketing budget than an indiv business owner would and likely have a sharp SEO/design team right on staff. Also have the added advantage of scale in that they do so many listings to test and see what works. Maybe just eval what they are doing and do it better on your own site?

    But again that's not looking at anything. I'll try to look later.

    THANKS FOR PLAYING and submitting an example!
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  7. #7
    Jo Shaer's Avatar
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Is there a way that a paid listing on a major site like Yahoo maps can be used to influence the ranking of the Google Places page?

  8. #8
    Don Berthiaume's Avatar
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Sure, I'll play

    Key phrase: nashua hvac
    Rank: #2 blended
    G+ Local link: none for Nashua but I can quickly find 7 other company locations that have one and I don't think any of them have been claimed. Very few reviews.
    Domain: heritagephc.com

    "hvac" not even listed anywhere on home page, "nashua" only once. Nothing in title, h'tags, not seeing other local hooks. Majestic shows 106 referring domains, 540 backlinks.
    Don Berthiaume
    Genesis1 Mobile
    Mobile Web Sites That Give Your Customers What They're Searching For

  9. Members who thanked Don Berthiaume for this post:

    Linda Buquet (08-22-2012)

  10. #9
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    Thanks for playing Don. Sounds like a good one!

    I'm really tied up today/nite but hopefully some other members will jump in and play on this one.
    I'll circle back around when I can too.
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  11. #10
    Don Berthiaume's Avatar
    Don Berthiaume is offline Local Search Pro+
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    Re: Local SEO Ranking Game - Why Ranks High?

    RE: amazinglockservice.com

    Jose,

    This certainly is a head-scratcher...
    • the site isn't anything to write home about (well, except of course for its current placement in Google. I'd write home every day for that position )
    • MajesticSEO shows only 1 backlink,
    • only a single h-tag with "Chicago, IL Locksmith,
    • the first [in content] hyperlink goes to another page but I think is a dup of the home page but navigates to a page that has "chicago-il-locksmith-services" in the page name,
    • yet the other three hyperlinks all go to pages that have an h1 tag that includes the words Chicago Locksmith,
    • two "zero" reviews,
    • cats and desc on GP pages really not using best practices,
    • really no on-page SEO to speak of,
    • I can't imagine the GP page is completely filled out (Perhaps an example of when it doesn't matter anyway?),
    • the only images with any alt / title tags with any merit are angie's list and coupon (now I've seen someone locally here rank unexpectedly and the only reason I could see was an alt/title tag with their angie's list image),
    • the video is hosted at YellowBook but I would hate to think that's part of the reason it's ranking where it is.
    • and... why do I try to help my clients have better than this?


    Anyone else? Sheer luck or a cunning Google mind with practices we should all adopt?
    Don Berthiaume
    Genesis1 Mobile
    Mobile Web Sites That Give Your Customers What They're Searching For

  12. Members who thanked Don Berthiaume for this post:

    Linda Buquet (08-22-2012)

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