Could my listing be penalized?


sintzu

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Hi,

I am currently working on a client and am working on pushing them up in the Google 7 pack for the key term Victoria Hotels. What I am having trouble figuring out though is why they are not even close to ranking near the first page for local.

I've analyzed our competitors and have noticed we have more citations than most, more reviews, a website (some don't even have websites and are ranking higher), we are close to the center of the city, we have an optimized google page, our website is optmized for local, we have a mobile friendly website, yet we still don't rank! I've poked the listing plenty of time as well just in case. I know there's plenty of ranking factors aside from this but perhaps there is something I'm missing.

Only thing I can think about is that we are for some reason being penalized. I've looked into the title tags that were set up by the previous company they were working with and the main landing page's title tag is stuffed with keywords. I got that changed today to look more natural.

I'll pm you the link to the Google places page if you're interested in taking a look and potentially helping me figure out what's going on here.

Thanks!
 

Linda Buquet

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I'll pm you the link to the Google places page if you're interested in taking a look and potentially helping me figure out what's going on here.
Hi sintzu, thanks for posting!

Could be a wide variety of things. Could only guess without analyzing further.

For me to help one-on-one privately requires a consulting fee.

But if you'd care to share the details here - I help for free in the forum PLUS you get the benefit of advice from other local pros that want to help and could pick up on something I miss.

So post a link if you care too and we'll be happy to help.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for posting. I'm tied up but will try to look later tonight.

HEY GUYs - If anyone else has time to jump in and offer any feedback please do.

What goes around comes around, here at the Local Search Forum. :)
 
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To start, your address is in Victoria. Google knows this, and will make you show in local searches based on this alone. You don't need to mention Victoria twice in your description, and most feel this causes a penalty.

Your postal code does not match the one on your website.

The phone number and website appear to have been missing until recently. The edit to add them is new enough (2 weeks ago) that you might not be getting the full ranking benefit from them.

Behind the scenes your categories are a bit repetitious, but I don't know if that affects Places rankings.
 

Linda Buquet

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To start, your address is in Victoria. Google knows this, and will make you show in local searches based on this alone. You don't need to mention Victoria twice in your description, and most feel this causes a penalty.
Thanks so much Gregg for taking time to check and offering some great feedback.

Before when i checked the site I thought I saw Victoria 3 times. Now it's only there twice. But in Google cache the title tag appears until recently to have been as follows with city 3 times and BC twice:
HTML:
<title>Victoria Hotels | Hotel Victoria, BC | Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites Victoria, BC</title>
Oh in fact it's still showing like that in AOL search and AOL pulls pure organic from Google, so looks like title was like that until just recently. So that could have been a problem.

My personal experience and opinion is that city twice on opposite ends of the tag is probably OK but not 3 like above. (As long as the 2 city mentions are formatted differently. In otherwords not keyword city, keyword city. But city keword at the head - name in middle and keyword city, st at end.) (And BC only once)

Another issue, most people think you should have exact match NAP on every page. Well for a hotel, the local address and phone is HIGHLY relevent and important. The address is not on home page neither is phone. Adding NAP in schema to footer and on contact us page would be good. That won't give a direct ranking boost, just is a good idea and I think strengthens the local signal.

Plus I REALLY wonder if Club 345 at Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites is hurting you. Same address and same phone. Don't they have a different phone#? Or slightly different address? If so should do a map edit to try to change it so that listing does not potentially conflict with the hotel listing.

Oh I see a pending edit in MapMaker on that one. Trying to merge it? Was that you making the edit Sintzu? Google Map Maker

Also in the past on the OLD Place pages some people, including me thought they'd seen some ranking penalties based on having too much KW repetition in the Place page description. Especially listing city there. You have city twice in desctription. I'm not certain if that's changed with G+ but my best practice recommendation is still to err on the side of caution and not repeat city in description (or name and main keyword no more than once.)

So there you have a few ideas about things that you could consider possibly changing.

Disclaimer, it's after 11 and I'm exhausted. Scuse any typos. :eek:
 
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I forgot to mention the Club 345 entry, I had similar thoughts.

Regarding the pending edit in Map Maker, can you tell me if the fitness club is for hotel guests only, or if they sell memberships?
 

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