Business ranks 4th in organic search but 13th in GMB, way behind rubbish competitors.

PeteKernow

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Joined
Oct 25, 2019
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16
In fact in organic rank it's 3rd excluding the National Health Service's own (UK-wide) site. Which I'd be quite happy with, except that the GMB pack comes ahead of the organics so people see it first. And the people ahead of me on GMB include five who don't even have links to their websites, eight with no reviews (I have six), and one with an average review score of 3/5 from two reviews, one being a detailed and scathing one-star review. I have carefully worked my way through all the stuff you're supposed to do on GMB, pics, opening hours, video, etc etc, but my site remains stubbornly stuck way down. This is for search term "hypnotherapy". For "hypnotherapy plymouth" I'm 6th in GMB (still behind Mr One Star!) and fourth in organics. I cannot fathom GMB's criteria, seems to be just random. My domain is one of the oldest locally and compares well with competitors on the things that MOZ identifies.
 
Joined
May 3, 2018
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Hi @PeteKernow

The map pack is most influenced by proximity. The organic results, while localized, are more influenced by other SEO factors (backlinks, on-site issues, etc.) and less influenced by proximity.

Add the extension "gs location changer" to your Chrome browser. Spoof your address to be that of your business, search "hypnotherapy", and see if you don't come out at the top of the map pack.

Then spoof your address to be that of one of your competitors and repeat. I think you'll find that your competitor comes out on top.

Note that "gs location changer" spoofs the location from which you're searching. Adding a geomodifier to your search term, e.g. "hypnotherapy plymouth", has a different effect.

Great whitepaper on this: Whitepaper: How distance & intent shape a local pack - STAT Search Analytics
 

PeteKernow

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Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
16
Thanks! Having added that extension and searched as if from my own business address, my site did not appear at all at first. When I homed in the map to just the southern part of the city (its about 250,000 population) I did indeed appear first. Also, I see it defaults to "best match." When I changed this to "location" I came first. I shall have to study this further with the help of the white paper.
 
Last edited:

PeteKernow

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Oct 25, 2019
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Have experimented with that extension for a while, spoofing my location from my own business address, from a few doors up the street, from the city centron, and from the centre of the city's built-up area ie equidistant from the most population. (Plymouth is a coastal city therefore the main shopping and business district, where I practice, is on the edge (fronting the sea) not in the middle).

For organic rankings I'm between 2 and 5 for main search terms (hypnotherapy, hypnotherapist, hypnosis, and the same words + plymouth).

But in the GMB local pack I don't appear at all from my own street on Best Match. On GMB sorted by location I don't appear at all for two search terms but for same terms + Plymouth I'm ranked 1, 1, and 3.

Searching from the centron I rank same as above for organic and always appear on GMB, better ranked on local (1-4) than on best match (1-6). (The centron is about ten minutes walk from my business).

Finally, searching from the centre of the built-up area I rank about same as above for organic and GMB best match, but hardly appear at all for location searches. (This is about four miles from my business).

So bearing in mind that I'm in a very specialised business that Google knows nothing about (as I've already discovered from many frustrating interactions with their Adwords team), I'm guessing they assume that when people search local they just want whoever's nearest, whatever the quality.

And based on the results from my own street, I guess they reckon that if someone's right there then they already know about my business and want something different, therefore I don't show at all on GMB. Except that on GMB location searches from that address I rank 1st or 3rd!!!
 

PeteKernow

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Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
16
So now I've checked it from ten locations all over the city, and from five nearby towns. Organic rank is about the same in all city locations, 3s and 4s, but in nearby towns I don't appear at all, in fact it's mostly generic articles not individual practitioners. Except for "hypnotherapy + Plymouth" where I rank same as in the city.

Local pack sorted by location seems to be what it say, strictly about location, which I guess explains how even the worst sites still get a few clients from their own neighbourhood. I rank well within a fairly tight radius, better with qualifier "Plymouth".

Local pack sorted by best match (which of course is the default and comes above organics) is presumably based on local and organic combined. I rank well within about three miles radius. So I'm thinking I'll focus my Adwords on the parts of the city outside of that radius.

The bit I still don't understand is that searching "local pack sorted by best match" from the actual street where my office is located (though not the same number) my several rivals in the same street rank top, as you'd expect, but I don't appear at all! Unless maybe it's because Google notices that I never clicked on my own site when this appeared, so they're modifying the result based on my own past behaviour.
 

PeteKernow

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
16
Thanks. Searching in incognito mode from the street where my business is located caused my own Adwords ad to appear, (which it doesn't when I search non-incognito) but still no sign of my GMB page. The other practitioners in my street all appear.
 

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