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  1. #1
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    GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    I have been working on promoting a new law firm who rolled out their website just last month. This is a brand new firm with a unique business address, so I don't expect any duplicate listing issues or NAP inconsistency problems.

    Unfortunately, even though I've diligently added citations (using Brightlocal) to this listing, it's not ranking in a maps search at all - even on page 5. It

    I know that it takes time to rank, but I was hoping that the firm would at least be somewhere.

    One potential problem is that when entering the name of the business into the GMB business profile, I used the firm's preferred name which is Spaulding & Campi Criminal Attorneys. This name was properly registered in a DBA and is the "real world" name used on business cards and in all of the NAP citations. So I believe that it's the right name to use on GMB.

    However, the law firm partnership's official name is Spaulding Campi, LLP and Google changed the title on the listing since I presume it scanned the website and found some references to that name.

    After G changed the name, I changed it back to the longer name.

    My question is -

    1) Is it possible that the GMB listing is being penalized because G assumes that the business name is in violation of its guidelines?

    2) If so, is there any point in calling the GMB help line to let them know about the DBA filing?

    3) Should I add an alternate "official name" in map maker?

    4) Any other advice? Am I expecting results too soon and should just hold my horses and build up the site content and backlinks?

    Thank you!

    Scott

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  2. #2
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott ClientClicks View Post
    I have been working on promoting a new law firm who rolled out their website just last month. This is a brand new firm with a unique business address, so I don't expect any duplicate listing issues or NAP inconsistency problems.

    Unfortunately, even though I've diligently added citations (using Brightlocal) to this listing, it's not ranking in a maps search at all - even on page 5. It

    I know that it takes time to rank, but I was hoping that the firm would at least be somewhere.

    One potential problem is that when entering the name of the business into the GMB business profile, I used the firm's preferred name which is Spaulding & Campi Criminal Attorneys. This name was properly registered in a DBA and is the "real world" name used on business cards and in all of the NAP citations. So I believe that it's the right name to use on GMB.

    However, the law firm partnership's official name is Spaulding Campi, LLP and Google changed the title on the listing since I presume it scanned the website and found some references to that name.

    After G changed the name, I changed it back to the longer name.

    My question is -

    1) Is it possible that the GMB listing is being penalized because G assumes that the business name is in violation of its guidelines?

    2) If so, is there any point in calling the GMB help line to let them know about the DBA filing?

    3) Should I add an alternate "official name" in map maker?

    4) Any other advice? Am I expecting results too soon and should just hold my horses and build up the site content and backlinks?

    Thank you!

    Scott
    I take it you're concerned purely because your ranking doesn't reflect where you currently feel like you should be?

    The city you're competing in is Sacramento, a very large city with a ton of competition, especially for lawyers. You're also working with a company that's only a few months old. Their website was registered in Aug '15 and I can only assume their GMB page is that old.

    It's not surprising you're not ranking well yet. Even in a less populated city I wouldn't expect you to rank well yet. You have a young website and GMB page. That's rough.

    I would say it's going to be at the very least a year before they sniff pay dirt in terms of a 1st page listing, and that's if you're doing knockout SEO work. If their GMB page were older or their website, and you only had to deal with 1 of the 2 being young, I'd say it would be quicker. But since both are in their infancy, it's just going to take time, especially in Sacramento.

    To answer your questions:

    1-4: I have suggestions but really, those questions are probably more for someone like Linda or Joy, who I am sure will be by to answer at some point.

    Again, the reason you're not ranking well is more than likely your age. I'd say there's a 5% chance it has to do with your GMB page name.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service

  3. #3
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Joshua is right.

    But additionally when you mention Attorney and ranking, the 1st thing that comes to mind is a dupe problem with practitioner listings.

    So I do a search that should pull up their listing and any others with that phone number: “plus.google.com” “916-330-4505” “about” “review”

    Guess what? The practice does not even show up.
    But there is an unclaimed practitioner listing that needs to be dealt with.

    So then I'm like, why is it not showing even for a direct search?
    I check MM and it's fine there.

    Finally tracked down the listing: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Spauldingcampi/about
    (Anyone else following along, check out that description. WOW! 2 full browser pages of description filled with lots of 'bad' words.)

    Now I have nothing scientific to base this on and no proof, but knowing how Google works and thinks - I believe the page could be blocked due to the description.

    Let's play a game. Pretend for a minute your brain is a software program designed to create a word cloud which represents that business...

    What are some of the words repeated over and over???
    Words I don't even want Google or other bots to find on my site - words that my forum software would even block like:

    chi-ld por-nograp-hy (several times) INCLUDING IN BOLD CAPS
    even the phrase "chi-ld por-nograp-hy images"

    S e x and "s e x crimes" several times

    lewd conduct

    dru-g traffick-ing

    MARI-JUANA SALES IN BOLD CAPS and just the 1st word several times

    So a human reading that would realize what that description was about.

    But a bot? Would it think you were promoting illegal content or substances? Would it block the page for you automatically? I don't know. But I wonder.

    Not only that but the other listing in Roseville is an exact duplicate of this one. The descriptions are exactly the same. Which in an of itself is no biggie, not best practice but not a deal breaker. But coupled with all the words that would also be in descriptions for prohibited content, I just have to wonder.

    But even when I search for them by name, the listing does not come up.
    Roseville does, but not Sacramento.

    Search: “plus.google.com” “Spaulding & Campi Criminal Attorneys” "sacramento" “about” “review”


    So while the page shows up in MM, it appears to be totally blocked from showing on Google search even though it's a verified local page.
    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!

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

  4. #4
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Wow, that has to be it. Well, that has to be a problem anyway.

    Great find Linda.

    Hopefully that wasn't copied onto all of their citations
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service

  5. #5
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Hi Joshua and Linda -

    Thank you both very much for taking the time to look into this.

    Yes, criminal defense attorneys do optimize some unusual words. I am a little too comfortable with these keywords having having helped a firm in this industry for many years.

    You might be correct about child por...gaphy being the culprit because that particular keyword is banned in adwords - even when you request an exception for attorney listings. That crime is the exception though because I have been successful in organically ranking many of the other sex crimes for another firm.

    I will try editing the G+ descriptions.

    -Scott

  6. #6
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Nice work Linda! Very interesting indeed.

    In regards to the first question, Google doesn't penalize a page due to a business name, what they do is auto-edit it to what they think it should be, as you already experienced.

    However, what you need to remember is that Google Map Maker has an army of volunteers that delete suspected spam all day long. So you want to make it VERY clear that whatever the business name is on the business listing is the same as the website and everywhere else.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  7. #7
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott ClientClicks View Post
    Hi Joshua and Linda -

    Thank you both very much for taking the time to look into this.

    Yes, criminal defense attorneys do optimize some unusual words. I am a little too comfortable with these keywords having having helped a firm in this industry for many years.

    You might be correct about child por...gaphy being the culprit because that particular keyword is banned in adwords - even when you request an exception for attorney listings. That crime is the exception though because I have been successful in organically ranking many of the other sex crimes for another firm.

    I will try editing the G+ descriptions.

    -Scott
    I think it's probably not just the child KWs but just the total amount of bad keywords. Again picture what a word cloud would look like for that description.

    HOWEVER if that's the issue it's a little odd the other listing with the exact same description is still up. But we all know not everyone gets dinged and not right away, so maybe that one will fall off too.

    BUT often what sends the spiders back to recheck listings for compliance is an edit.
    So I'm thinking possibly that name edit triggered a check.


    4 important things to keep in mind in general with descriptions though:

    1) They aren't a ranking factor so adding a bunch of keywords does not help.

    2) Consumers these days will never see that description anyway, now that all links to G+ pages are gone.

    3) Even though not a ranking factor CAN get you dinged. So while not a positive CAN be a negative.

    4) I always advise not to make descriptions very long at all. That one is WAY too long.

    For 3 reasons:

    1) If people COULD still see that page, for conversions and getting them to your site you just want to give the sizzle NOT the whole steak. You want to only put something that's going to grab them and help them realize they want to learn more. Lots of attys put we offer blah, blah, blah in their description. Do something that will get their attention instead. Length of time in business. Woman owned practice, etc.

    I like to appeal to emotions and ask Qs in descriptions. Think of it more like you would if you only had a small amount of words for an ad or TV Commercial.

    So for a PI atty I might do something like: "Is this the most painful time of your life? We will listen and we will fight for you!" (Or something, but you get my drift.

    2) The other reason for a short description IF people could even see that page is that a long one pushes your precious reviews way down on the page and reviews if you have a lot of good ones can be your biggest conversion factor.

    3) And last but not least, and working with attys you'll like this one. The more stuff you write, the longer the description the more chances of hanging yourself. Just like in criminal law they tell you not to say too much or the other side could twist it and use it against you.

    There I go writing a book again. And you wonder why I have RSI so bad.
    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".

  8. #8
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    For posterity, for tracking purposes and so others can learn from this, I just copied the "before" description. Let us know after you edit so I can copy the new one.

    Oh wait, did you already edit??? And all you took out were Child P and S e x words? Cuz it's still a mile long and mentions weed and other questionable words.

    Right now that listing is TOTALLY invisible. And again no one will see that description and it does not help, but could be hurting.

    I would strip it down to one paragraph. Don't mention city or any keywords. Talk about quality of service, track record etc. Just strip it way down to see if it helps.

    Sorry the image is so hard to read. That description was 2 full browser pages long on a very large monitor. It was too big for the forum so the forum shrank it way down.

    Name:  Spaulding&CampiCriminalAttorneys.png
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    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".

  9. #9
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    Linda - Thanks again for the great tips.

    I did edit the GBM business description earlier this evening and I think you were correct about the child por*ography being a banned word which prevented the listing from showing in organic results for all except branded searches.

    Previously when I searched "sacramento criminal attorneys" in an incognito window the listing was not anywhere in the pack. Even offices marked "permanently closed" were present.

    But now, after making the description edit, I do see the listing. Granted it's way way back on page 3...but at least that's a start.

    I will try paring down the description further. For the record, I did a use a similarly wordy description for another client and that firm is ranking #1 in the snack pack for San Jose Criminal Attorneys, which is a highly competitive market...(see Summit Defense Attorneys San Jose). Obviously there are many ranking factors that pushed that one to the top over many years of link, citation and content building - so I'm not pointing to the description length as the one deciding factor.

    My next decision is whether to change the Sacramento office GMB page to link to the office page rather than to the home page. The home page will eventually have a better page authority since it's the home page. But the homepage also shows multiple office NAP in the footer and that's negative ranking factor #21 in the Mimh Ranking Report.

    What's the consensus on which page to link to from a GMB profile - the homepage or the local office? None of the pages on this site have yet been indexed by Moz, so there's no page authority to compare. But I'm sure that the homepage will eventually have a higher authority than the local office page. However, if I build out the local office page, it will at least have relevant city-only information and the single office NAP.


  10. #10
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    re: GMB penalty due to business name? No Description!

    I am amazed from time to time by the capacity of the human brain.

    Linda, I would love a download of all the info rattling around in that noggin of yours. When I think I can't/won't learn something new, you go and teach me something...NEW.

    HAT TIP LADY. You're untouchable. Sincerely cool to work with you here in the forum.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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