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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Tip

    ClosedListing


    Joy Hawkins, another Google Top Contributor and I have noticed a relatively unknown problem numerous times when we've done ranking troubleshooting various cases.

    What we've discovered is if there is listing marked permanently closed at your address and phone, it often (not always) seems to suppress ranking for the main listing you are trying to rank. This should not happen, but it seems to in numerous cases we've investigated.

    The old listing may be closed due to either rebranding or practitioners that are no longer at that location. So a standard part of our troubleshooting checklist for awhile now is deep dupe research to try to uncover any closed listings that may be out there.

    We've discussed this a few times on various G+ Communities starting back in May, but we've never come out and dedicated a post to it. I think Joy and I were seeing it so much we just assumed everyone had noticed the problem.

    The topic came up on the following thread yesterday and it seems many local search experts are not aware of the problem and one even doubts it's an issue. Here is the discussion starting with post #4. However in that post 2 members said they'd run into the problem and suspected it as well.

    Joy has worked on several cases that she has permission to share, so I asked her to do a detailed post explaining the issue. It always helps to see examples.

    So head over to read Joy's post and see her examples, then read on.

    Is “Permanently Closed” Killing your Ranking? (4 Case Studies)

    It's a long post with some screenshots and definitely worth a read!

    This is largely our educated guess based on seeing the phenom enough to call it a problem.
    (See correlation/causation link below.)

    OH AND SOME PROOF - kinda, sorta - as much proof as you can get in local.

    Joy a couple times has re-opened the closed listings to make an edit, because you can't edit a closed listing. The listing would then pop right back into the pack!

    "As an experiment I convinced one of the MapMaker RERs to open the old practitioner listing to see what would happen. The listing instantly spiked to the first position for almost every keyword. The practice listing was still nowhere to be found (note: they use the same phone number on both listings). We kept it open for a few days to make sure the ranking would stay the same (it did) and then closed it again. Once it was closed the situation went back to what it was before -with nothing ranking well."

    Now there are no absolutes in local and things are often not consistent. We are not saying every time there is a closed listing the main one will be suppressed. Just like you can't say description spam always causes a ranking penalty or you won't rank if NAP is off or you have practitioner listings (dupes). Many listings rank in spite of those problems. BUT often if you don't rank it's due to an underlying problem.

    We also realize that correlation is not always causation, but as stated in that last link, sometimes correlation after reviewing enough cases is key. So all we are saying, is that looking for closed listings is one more thing to double check if you are experiencing ranking problems.


    IMPORTANT P. S. Here's a new post I just did on a better/different way to do duplicate discovery that will help you find those pesky old closed listings and other problems.

    Advanced Tip for Google Local Troubleshooting & Duplicate Discovery

    So check your ranking problem children, using the new search method in the link directly above and see if you find any closed listings that could be a factor.

    So what do you think???

    Have you suspected closed listings are hurting your client's rankings?




    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    Hey Linda, I've been thinking this for a while now. I have had two situations when the Closed listing vanished and the client popped into the pack immediately. I'm now tracking other sites to see if this happens. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the great post.

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    I have also had this issue with multiple clients.

    The way I was able to resolve it was to give Google a call and have them put a "relocation tag" on the listing.

    I don't know what they did but they knew what I was talking about and the listing jumped back up in 24hrs.

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    It's always great to confirm others are seeing it to Glad we collaborated on this!
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO, a 270+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  6. #5
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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustybones View Post
    Hey Linda, I've been thinking this for a while now. I have had two situations when the Closed listing vanished and the client popped into the pack immediately.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridgerunner View Post
    I have also had this issue with multiple clients.
    Thanks guys, I agree, it's always helpful to have others confirm it. A couple in the thread I linked to above have also noticed it happening.

    Again here is one of the 1st public cases I can find where Joy and I started discussing this as an issue back in May. G+ Communities

    Here is a recent case I worked on at the form, but there were other problems too, so can't say for sure the closed listings are the problem. Top 3 Organic listing but no local listing (So correlation gets cloudy on this one.)
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    Joy, thanks for working on this.

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    Very Interesting Read - my closed/re-location clean up this week was a lot easier than before using the GMB Chat - forcing them to look at the different links seemed to make it click a lot easier, and knock on wood, it was fixed.
    -----
    CDK Global SEO Specialist & Local Listings Guru

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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    Quote Originally Posted by cdawg2610 View Post
    Very Interesting Read - my closed/re-location clean up this week was a lot easier than before using the GMB Chat - forcing them to look at the different links seemed to make it click a lot easier, and knock on wood, it was fixed.
    Oh good to hear. Meant to quote you from the other thread.

    You said:
    Quote Originally Posted by cdawg2610 View Post
    I have a closed listing suppressing a verified, active page right now so I totally buy into this
    Then also Brian confirmed:

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Barwig View Post
    Ive also noticed several times that closed listings seem to suppress open, verified listings. In addition, there seem to be newly created listings which Google created that are appearing in Map Packs above verified pages of the same listing. How and why this happens, I havent tested yet. Ive only noticed that a few times but it is perplexing.
    So it's good we are talking about this now. This post barely hit and we already have lots of corroboration. So it appears it may be happening more than most realize.

    Thanks SO much Joy for doing all that work to document. Haha I have not even had a chance to read yet, have been too busy posting. But I know of some of the cases from previous discussions we've had about this issue. Off to read now.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

  10. #9
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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    OK I just read your post Joy and it's especially useful because every one of the 4 cases you documented is a different type of local search problem related to closed listings.

    A big takeaway I got from reading them, which I had not thought of til now, is checking out the power/trust those old listings had before being closed. If G+ reviews and 3rd party reviews and lots of maturity/trust was attached to that closed listing, seems to even hurt more to a degree.

    Great info! And thanks again for documenting all of it!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

  11. #10
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    Re: Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking? Important New Troubleshooting Ti

    No problem! The cases have all been really different for sure. There were tons I didn't include as well because they were similar to the 4 on there.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO, a 270+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

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