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  1. #1
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    Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to have your opinion on one thing: I am working on a site that recently experienced a drastic “fluctuation” from the first page (among the top 5) to basically nowhere for one of the main keywords they were targeting for one of their most important local landing pages.

    Did something change recently in the algo local-wise and I missed it?

    Thanks
    Elio

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  3. #2
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Hi Elio, and welcome to the forum.

    If you are talking about the Local Pack, Google just swapped everything to 3 packs, so if you have been sitting at #4,5,6, and 7 you are now hidden. You might have an issue if you are seeing major fluctuations in Maps, especially if you had a considerable drop and its holding in that position.

    Check out the conversation below.

    Goodbye 7 Packs! Only 3 Packs with No Phone # or Address for All Local Results

    If you are seeing Organic changes It depends on a number of factors. Some industries have more fluctuations than others. Also, some cities see a lot fluctuations, while others are pretty stable.

    In General, rankings tend to be more stable if you are positioned in the top 5 and anything below that is turbulent. Sites are constantly shifting. Another thing I notice is Google will hammer a single keyword for that city across every website, but return to normal a few days later. You might just be experiencing a temporary fluctuation.

    Also, it helps other pros if you share some details and links. Most will dig in a bit for you. You can also PM people if you are concerned about going public with your clients info.
    Last edited by Dustybones; 08-23-2015 at 06:25 AM.

  4. #3
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    If you are speaking the pack then it is as DustyBones suggested.

    If you are speaking organic it could be one of several things:

    Competition.
    Your site got penalized and penalized for that critical keyword.
    Could be turbulence with regard to local rankings.

  5. #4
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Hi guys!
    Thank you for your answers and for your welcome

    No, I was speaking organic and not about the pack. Yeah it could be a temporary drop but this change happened a couple of weeks ago and nothing has changed since; at first I thought it could be a temporary thing as well but at this point, not so much.

    I think it’s something more “stable” even though I don’t understand why; I haven’t looked into this yet, but I don’t think they did something specific to trigger a penalty like over optimizing their pages, scraping content, building awful links and stuff like that.

    Also, one other thing that puzzles me is the fact that Analytics does not report any drop in traffic, which is something I would normally expect when you go from position number 4 to nothing.
    Their organic traffic for that specific landing page is constant and they say they haven’t noticed any loss in clients’ enquiries, so I am not sure how interpret all this.

    I also checked the GA code with Screaming Frog to make sure that there wasn't any error in tracking the site activity but the code is in all their pages and apparently everything is working fine

    Any ideas?

    Thanks

  6. #5
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    We would need to see the site.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service
    Local Listing Ninja Reviews - Check Out Our 100+ 5 Star Reviews!

  7. #6
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Have you checked webmaster tools for penalty related messages?

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  8. #7
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Elio, thanks for the PM. Make sure you send it to Joshua and Colan. Those two are oozing information .

    What keywords did you see a change? Searching "Green House cleaning Services City, State" I see you at #5 and #6. Searching "Green House cleaning Services City" you are #8. It might be that you dropped in a Keyword that isn't bringing in traffic.

    I see you at #6 in maps, but you are showing a name that has a modifier on it "Your Business Name - Domestic House Cleaning" Google was allowing this for a bit, but Linda and other pros suggested to avoid the practice.

  9. #8
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer

    So the URL is www. sparklingcleanagency. com (I have to write it this way, because I just realized that as soon as I paste the URL it pastes a list of keywords instead and I don't like that) and, as I was saying to Dustybones, they were ranking quite high for keywords like Maid Service, Professional House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, and House cleaning and House cleaning Service in the pack (of course I am talking about the SF area here)

    As for Webmaster Tools I am waiting for them to send me the login details.....they are trying to retrieve them becuase I think they lost them or something.
    Anyway, checking for Google notifications will be the next thing for sure, because at least by looking at it, it looks like a penalty

    Thank you very much
    Elio

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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Quote Originally Posted by Elio View Post
    Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer

    So the URL is www. sparklingcleanagency. com (I have to write it this way, because I just realized that as soon as I paste the URL it pastes a list of keywords instead and I don't like that) and, as I was saying to Dustybones, they were ranking quite high for keywords like Maid Service, Professional House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, and House cleaning and House cleaning Service in the pack (of course I am talking about the SF area here)

    As for Webmaster Tools I am waiting for them to send me the login details.....they are trying to retrieve them becuase I think they lost them or something.
    Anyway, checking for Google notifications will be the next thing for sure, because at least by looking at it, it looks like a penalty

    Thank you very much
    Elio
    It's not an organic penalty. You ranked 6th for me in https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...utf-8&oe=utf-8 - you would be on at least the 3rd page or worse if you were penalized.

    Looks like you are a victim of the home services beta in SF. Click on "More house cleaners to view or contact" and you'll see it's only the verified, trusted, etc. Did your house cleaner go through this process or get contacted?

    So, this is happening for real? I hope it's not a pay to play method but more of a higher standard method, meaning you can get verified/trusted for free. Does anybody have any more details? If this is purely pay to play, this might be the first big misstep from Google I've seen in user experience.

    Also, Google now has consumer support: https://support.google.com/ads/contact/consumer_support. Interesting, no?

    P.S. Check out the site links Yelp is getting now: https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...utf-8&oe=utf-8 - goes to individual businesses. Is this new?
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service
    Local Listing Ninja Reviews - Check Out Our 100+ 5 Star Reviews!

  11. #10
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    Re: Strong fluctuation in local rankings

    Thanks for going public Elio... There are some great people in here.

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