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Myles from BrightLocal just shared some of the poll results from our most recent webinar:

Troubleshooting Google Local Ranking Issues - InsideLocal Webinar

Here are the poll results (which I also posted above) along with his analysis of what those results show and say about various types of ranking issues.

Citation Inconsistency Is No.1 Issue Affecting Local Ranking

We gave attendees 5 options to choose from and asked them to pick the 2 most common issues that they find across all the clients they work with or businesses they audit. Given that each local search consultant handles 9 clients on average, we can assume that these experiences are drawn from in excess of 3,000 businesses.

Key Findings:

.:. Inconsistent citation and NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data is by far the most common issue at 41%.

.:. Duplicate Google Places/+Local listings is the 2nd most common issue at 27%.

.:. Google Places Guideline Violations is the least common issue, with just 4% of respondents counting this among their most common issues.

Myles also said: "I was surprised to see that “Google Places Guideline Violations” was so low. Given the frequent changes and even reversal of advice in the guidelines, I believe that many businesses are in violation of the guidelines in some way or other. I suspect that many respondents are unclear on what constitutes a guideline violation, hence the low score in this survey."

I know based on the number of consultants I train and do consulting for, that the last part is true. Many do not know what some of the violations are.

But the question was "What are the 2 most common ranking issues that you come across".

I think the biggest reason that number was low is twofold. A) Google does not punish most violations with ranking penalties. Does not punish them at all in most cases. B) There are sometimes ranking penalties for certain specific violations, but they are violations of unwritten rules most consultants/SMBs are not even aware of.

Therefore when ranking drops they don't even correlate it with a ranking penalty, because they don't even know what they did wrong or that it could trip a filter.

What do you think about any of those survey results???