A hypothetical: A famous local business gets it's very first website

HoosierBuff

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Dec 12, 2013
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245
Hi Guys,

I wanted to get your thoughts on this hypothetical. Imagine a situation where there is this venerated local business, call it a hamburger joint, that is universally known as the best place in town, and a must see for anyone in that town etc. Presidents eat there, celebs, the whole nine. Due to a curmudgeonly owner, they have flat out refused to have a website. . . . so it is literally impossible for them to have any backlinks.

Two questions:
1. How does their GMB profile rank, and on what basis is Google ranking it?
2. If they suddenly decided to get a website, how would they rank organically?

My suspicion is that they wouldn't rank at all organically. . but I somehow think there could be enough signals so that the GMB would rank, whether it be reviews, or citations?
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
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@HoosierBuff:

1. Not as well as it could. In the case you describe, the rankings will mostly depend on location, reviews, GMB categories, and probably searchers' behavior over months and years.

2. Pretty well, especially if it's not a crappy one-pager, and especially if you make the menu(s) easy to crawl, and not so "chic" that Google can't understand what food is served there. Also, well-known restaurants tend to get links just by existing (a pretty nice situation - one that the owners take for granted).

If the owner likes how much visibility and business he/she gets, no need for a website. But if progress is a goal, then the owner needs a site. There's no excuse these days. Doesn't need to be good, and you can always work on it later.
 

HoosierBuff

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Dec 12, 2013
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245
interesting thoughts Phil, especially regarding the GMB ranking. The proximity to the searcher being so important that it makes me wonder a second question:

What are the real opportunities with the maps section - if proximity is such an important player (and increasingly, I see pure nobodies ranking ahead of real businesses due to proximity.

I think:
1. Rank for more terms (so if you are a caterer, maybe ranking for "organic catering near me", "cajun", "holiday party" etc.
2. Improving rank for the basic terms, but, I really wonder how much you can do here, assuming that they haven't done anything stupid.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,521
What are the real opportunities with the maps section - if proximity is such an important player (and increasingly, I see pure nobodies ranking ahead of real businesses due to proximity.
Proximity is important, but it's not the only factor. A big part of the problem is many owners of "real businesses" rest on their laurels, and don't put any or much real work into improving their visibility. For better or for worse, a "nobody" with hustle can do some damage.

I think:
1. Rank for more terms (so if you are a caterer, maybe ranking for "organic catering near me", "cajun", "holiday party" etc.
2. Improving rank for the basic terms, but, I really wonder how much you can do here, assuming that they haven't done anything stupid.
For sure.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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Personally, if they are that popular, it wouldn't surprise me if they rank very well based on reviews and structured/unstructured citations alone. Especially the unstructured citations which could be coming from PR pieces done on them, etc. Again, it would have to be based on how popular they really are. If presidents and celebrities eat there, I imagine they rank very well if they have their citation ducks in a row.

Is this really a hypothetical?
 

chadkimball

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Feb 21, 2014
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if they are that popular they probably get most of their search traffic from people searching for the brand name anyway, which they probably rank high for without a site
 

HoosierBuff

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Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
245
Personally, if they are that popular, it wouldn't surprise me if they rank very well based on reviews and structured/unstructured citations alone. Especially the unstructured citations which could be coming from PR pieces done on them, etc. Again, it would have to be based on how popular they really are. If presidents and celebrities eat there, I imagine they rank very well if they have their citation ducks in a row.

Is this really a hypothetical?
This is truly hypothetical, just helping me with my thoughts on how that map section works and how it relates to links (funny that it is so believable though! - you can almost see the restaurant in you mind - I was actually thinking of Corky's Barbecue in Memphis, tn, but, they have a website).
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Sep 12, 2012
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This is truly hypothetical, just helping me with my thoughts on how that map section works and how it relates to links (funny that it is so believable though! - you can almost see the restaurant in you mind - I was actually thinking of Corky's Barbecue in Memphis, tn, but, they have a website).
Gotcha. Well, the hypothetical is a major exception. Like, major. I wouldn't recommend anyone do that of course.

Hope that helps!
 
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