Are unrelated categories really the kiss of death?

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
383
So Darren Shaw posted this ( ) but I want to put another spin on it. I've got a new client, a florist/wedding vendor. Pretty straightforward, huh? But they also have a cafe/coffee shop as part of their business. After all, we do believe in keeping Asheville weird!

My initial thoughts were that they would need a separate GMB listing, separate phone number and separate website for the cafe/coffee shop, and that if they used all those categories, they would take a hit.

But what if their home page clearly referenced all these aspects of their business? Would that make any difference?
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
332
Hey Rich,

I think this would be a great case to test! Try adjusting the categories to focus on one of those businesses and drop the unrelated categories. See if rankings go up.

I would be happy to set up the rank tracking for this test. I'll set it up to track for all of the keywords related to both sides of the business at various zip codes around the business.

I think you raise an interesting point about the content of the homepage referencing those other aspects of the business. Perhaps that's where the "category confusion" comes in? If you add a bunch of categories that Google has no other reference for, then it can hurt your rankings, but if your site and citations and reviews seem to back up those other categories, it won't hurt you?

Let's test! Email me at darren@whitespark.ca with the client details and keywords.
 

CraigJMount

Local Search Expert
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
58
You know what's funny is that Google kind of talks about this in the guidelines. Specifically, under the "Two or more brands. . .location":

Two or more brands at the same location
If your business location combines two or more brands, do not combine the brand names into a single listing. Instead, pick one brand’s name for the listing. If the brands operate independently, you may use a separate listing for each brand at this location.

They reference the Taco Bell/KFC chains as examples. It'd probably be easier to rank two listings that are separately a "Chicken Restaurant" & a "Mexican Restaurant" (kind of a stretch for Taco Bell but you know...).

Separating the listings does present a challenge. You'd have to split the content assets. There would immediately be one winner and one loser. You'd have to invest in a new website, new reviews, etc.

But it may be good to separate them. Especially from a user POV, I mean if someone gets a bad latte and leaves a negative review... that isn't really relevant for someone looking for flowers right?
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That said, I do think it's possible to rank the website for all of those categories with the right onsite content, links, & reviews. If I were to guess, I'd say links play a big part in what the website is considered semantically/geographically relevant for.
 

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
383
Darren, it would be great to test, but I doubt that is in the cards for this one. For one thing, it is one of my DIY clients, where I provide them with guidance and they do the grunt work. But I will lay out the rationale and issues for them. If they do decide to test it at some point, I'll let you know and we can set up tracking. Thanks, everyone!
 

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